[PAST EVENT] Physics Colloquium - Prof. Zhang

September 4, 2020
4pm - 5pm
Access & Features
  • Open to the public
Shiwei Zhang
Shiwei Zhang

Prof. Shiwei Zhang, William & Mary and Flatiron Institute, Title of talk: Towards the solution of the many-electron problem: properties of the hydrogen chain

Zoom Link available upon request. Please email Ellie at [[evwilk]].

Abstract: Materials in which electrons strongly interact with one another exhibit a fascinating variety of structural, electronic and magnetic properties. Capturing the many underlying effects responsible for these properties is essential for understanding and predicting material behavior but requires a reliable treatment of the many-electron Schrodinger equation, which is a grand challenge in modern physics and chemistry. I will discuss an in-depth study of the quantum-mechanical ground state of what is perhaps the simplest realistic model for a bulk material: an infinite chain of equally spaced hydrogen atoms. The combined use of cutting-edge computational methods reveals a rich phase landscape that sheds light on the variety of material properties. This work establishes the hydrogen chain as a key benchmark for further methodological developments and an important model system for correlated electron systems. The results will motivate experimental realizations and stimulate further efforts to characterize phase diagrams of low-dimensional materials.