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Title: Projector Quantum Monte Carlo methods for linear and non-linear wavefunction ansatzes
Author: Schwarz, Lauretta Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 4303
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis is concerned with the development of a Projector Quantum Monte Carlo method for non-linear wavefunction ansatzes and its application to strongly correlated materials. This new approach is partially inspired by a prior application of the Full Configuration Interaction Quantum Monte Carlo (FCIQMC) method to the three-band (p-d) Hubbard model. Through repeated stochastic application of a projector FCIQMC projects out a stochastic description of the Full Configuration Interaction (FCI) ground state wavefunction, a linear combination of Slater determinants spanning the full Hilbert space. The study of the p-d Hubbard model demonstrates that the nature of this FCI expansion is profoundly affected by the choice of single-particle basis. In a counterintuitive manner, the effectiveness of a one-particle basis to produce a sparse, compact and rapidly converging FCI expansion is not necessarily paralleled by its ability to describe the physics of the system within a single determinant. The results suggest that with an appropriate basis, single-reference quantum chemical approaches may be able to describe many-body wavefunctions of strongly correlated materials. Furthermore, this thesis presents a reformulation of the projected imaginary time evolution of FCIQMC as a Lagrangian minimisation. This naturally allows for the optimisation of polynomial complex wavefunction ansatzes with a polynomial rather than exponential scaling with system size. The proposed approach blurs the line between traditional Variational and Projector Quantum Monte Carlo approaches whilst involving developments from the field of deep-learning neural networks which can be expressed as a modification of the projector. The ability of the developed approach to sample and optimise arbitrary non-linear wavefunctions is demonstrated with several classes of Tensor Network States all of which involve controlled approximations but still retain systematic improvability towards exactness. Thus, by applying the method to strongly-correlated Hubbard models, as well as ab-initio systems, including a fully periodic ab-initio graphene sheet, many-body wavefunctions and their one- and two-body static properties are obtained. The proposed approach can handle and simultaneously optimise large numbers of variational parameters, greatly exceeding those of alternative Variational Monte Carlo approaches.
Supervisor: Alavi, Ali Sponsor: EPSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: theoretical chemistry ; electronic structure theory ; Quantum Monte Carlo methods