Zombie states for description of structure and dynamics of multi-electron systems

J Chem Phys. 2018 May 21;148(19):194109. doi: 10.1063/1.5023209.


Canonical Coherent States (CSs) of Harmonic Oscillator have been extensively used as a basis in a number of computational methods of quantum dynamics. However, generalising such techniques for fermionic systems is difficult because Fermionic Coherent States (FCSs) require complicated algebra of Grassmann numbers not well suited for numerical calculations. This paper introduces a coherent antisymmetrised superposition of "dead" and "alive" electronic states called here Zombie State (ZS), which can be used in a manner of FCSs but without Grassmann algebra. Instead, for Zombie States, a very simple sign-changing rule is used in the definition of creation and annihilation operators. Then, calculation of electronic structure Hamiltonian matrix elements between two ZSs becomes very simple and a straightforward technique for time propagation of fermionic wave functions can be developed. By analogy with the existing methods based on Canonical Coherent States of Harmonic Oscillator, fermionic wave functions can be propagated using a set of randomly selected Zombie States as a basis. As a proof of principles, the proposed Coupled Zombie States approach is tested on a simple example showing that the technique is exact.