Differentiable but exact formulation of density-functional theory
Kvaal, Simen and Ekström, Ulf and Teale, Andrew M. and Helgaker, Trygve (2014) Differentiable but exact formulation of density-functional theory. Journal of Chemical Physics, 140 (18). 18A518 /1-18A518/14. ISSN 1089-7690
The universal density functional F of density-functional theory is a complicated and ill-behaved function of the density—in particular, F is not differentiable, making many formal manipulations more complicated. While F has been well characterized in terms of convex analysis as forming a conjugate pair (E, F) with the ground-state energy E via the Hohenberg–Kohn and Lieb variation principles, F is nondifferentiable and subdifferentiable only on a small (but dense) subset of its domain. In this article, we apply a tool from convex analysis, Moreau–Yosida regularization, to construct, for any ε > 0, pairs of conjugate functionals (ε E, ε F) that converge to (E, F) pointwise everywhere as ε → 0+, and such that ε F is (Fréchet) differentiable. For technical reasons, we limit our attention to molecular electronic systems in a finite but large box. It is noteworthy that no information is lost in the Moreau–Yosida regularization: the physical ground-state energy E(v) is exactly recoverable from the regularized ground-state energy ε E(v) in a simple way. All concepts and results pertaining to the original (E, F) pair have direct counterparts in results for (ε E, ε F). The Moreau–Yosida regularization therefore allows for an exact, differentiable formulation of density-functional theory. In particular, taking advantage of the differentiability of ε F, a rigorous formulation of Kohn–Sham theory is presented that does not suffer from the noninteracting representability problem in standard Kohn–Sham theory.
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