In this chapter we focus first on the theoretical methods and relevant computational approaches to calculate the electronic structure of atoms, molecules, and clusters containing heavy elements for which relativistic effects become significant. In particular, we discuss the mean-field approximation of the Dirac equation for many-electron systems, and its self-consistent numerical solution by using either radial mesh or Gaussian basis sets. The former technique is appropriate for spherical symmetric problems, such as atoms, while the latter approach is better suited to study nonspherical nonperiodic polycentric systems, such as molecules and clusters. We also outline the pseudopotential approximation in relativistic context to deal with the electron-ion interaction in extended systems, where the unfavorable computational scaling with system size makes it necessary. As test cases we apply our theoretical and numerical schemes to the calculation of the electronic structure (i) of the gold atom and (ii) of the superatom W@Au12, where the inclusion of spin-orbit effects is crucial to the accurate understanding of the electronic properties. Furthermore, we describe the extension of our relativistic approach to deal with nuclear reactions driven by the weak force, such as the electron capture and β-decay, also at finite temperature in astrophysical scenarios, using the Fermi–Dirac statistics. The latter processes are indeed major drivers of the nucleosynthesis of the elements in stars and, thus, their understanding is crucial to model the chemical evolution of the Universe. Finally, we show the application of our relativistic quantum mechanical framework to the assessment of the elastic differential scattering cross section of electrons impinging on molecular targets, notably liquid water. The latter process, together with several inelastic scattering collisions by which secondary electrons deposit their energy, represents a fundamental event of the chain of the physico-chemical mechanisms initiated by the passage of fast ion beams through a bio-medium. This technique is used in hadrontherapy for cancer cure.

Relativistic quantum theory and algorithms: A toolbox for modeling many-fermion systems in different scenarios

Simone Taioli;
2021

Abstract

In this chapter we focus first on the theoretical methods and relevant computational approaches to calculate the electronic structure of atoms, molecules, and clusters containing heavy elements for which relativistic effects become significant. In particular, we discuss the mean-field approximation of the Dirac equation for many-electron systems, and its self-consistent numerical solution by using either radial mesh or Gaussian basis sets. The former technique is appropriate for spherical symmetric problems, such as atoms, while the latter approach is better suited to study nonspherical nonperiodic polycentric systems, such as molecules and clusters. We also outline the pseudopotential approximation in relativistic context to deal with the electron-ion interaction in extended systems, where the unfavorable computational scaling with system size makes it necessary. As test cases we apply our theoretical and numerical schemes to the calculation of the electronic structure (i) of the gold atom and (ii) of the superatom W@Au12, where the inclusion of spin-orbit effects is crucial to the accurate understanding of the electronic properties. Furthermore, we describe the extension of our relativistic approach to deal with nuclear reactions driven by the weak force, such as the electron capture and β-decay, also at finite temperature in astrophysical scenarios, using the Fermi–Dirac statistics. The latter processes are indeed major drivers of the nucleosynthesis of the elements in stars and, thus, their understanding is crucial to model the chemical evolution of the Universe. Finally, we show the application of our relativistic quantum mechanical framework to the assessment of the elastic differential scattering cross section of electrons impinging on molecular targets, notably liquid water. The latter process, together with several inelastic scattering collisions by which secondary electrons deposit their energy, represents a fundamental event of the chain of the physico-chemical mechanisms initiated by the passage of fast ion beams through a bio-medium. This technique is used in hadrontherapy for cancer cure.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11582/331130
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