Schedule Aug 22, 2006
Electron Dynamics in Strong Fields using Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory
Prof. Neepa Maitra, Hunter College

Time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) has seen a surge of applications in recent years, for the calculation of optical spectra and response of atoms, molecules, clusters, and solids. But TDDFT not limited to the linear response regime; its promise to describe electron correlation in strong-field phenomena, including high-harmonic generation, above-threshold ionization, and electronic quantum control theory, is only beginning to be tapped. The non-perturbative regime is where TDDFT is the only feasible scheme, as wavefunction methods for even a few electrons are prohibitively expensive.

Although in principle an exact theory, the functionals of TDDFT must in practise be approximated. I will discuss certain properties of the exact functional that are essential for approximations to satisfy in order to capture the dynamics accurately in strong fields. Some of these are particularly challenging to incorporate into functional approximations, for example history-dependence and initial-state-dependence, critical for attosecond quantum control phenomena. I will present a new extension to phase-space density functionals, which may turn out to be a more natural framework for these problems.

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