Quantum mechanics in an evolving Hilbert space

Emilio Artacho, David D. O'Regan
2017 Physical review B  
Many basis sets for electronic structure calculations evolve with varying external parameters, such as moving atoms in dynamic simulations, giving rise to extra derivative terms in the dynamical equations. Here we revisit these derivatives in the context of differential geometry, thereby obtaining a more transparent formalisation, and a geometrical perspective for better understanding the resulting equations. The effect of the evolution of the basis set within the spanned Hilbert space
more » ... bert space separates explicitly from the effect of the turning of the space itself when moving in parameter space, as the tangent space turns when moving in a curved space. New insights are obtained using familiar concepts in that context such as the Riemann curvature. The differential geometry is not strictly that for curved spaces as in general relativity, a more adequate mathematical framework being provided by fibre bundles. The language used here, however, will be restricted to tensors and basic quantum mechanics. The local gauge implied by a smoothly varying basis set readily connects with Berry's formalism for geometric phases. Generalised expressions for the Berry connection and curvature are obtained for a parameter-dependent occupied Hilbert space spanned by non-orthogonal Wannier functions. The formalism is applicable to basis sets made of atomic-like orbitals and also more adaptative moving basis functions (such as in methods using Wannier functions as intermediate or support bases), but should also apply to other situations in which non-orthogonal functions or related projectors should arise. The formalism is applied to the time-dependent quantum evolution of electrons for moving atoms. The geometric insights provided here allow us to propose new finite-differences time integrators, and also better understand those already proposed.
doi:10.1103/physrevb.95.115155 fatcat:d5ma6no4inhs3dcu3dx5l6r5om