

HartreeFock Theory
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Question:
Are there any elementary texts on HartreeFock Theory? Where can I
find computer software for this?
Replies:
1. Schiff, "Quantum Mechanics".
2. First learn to do some calculations by hand for simple systems. Then,
when you have a specific problem to attack, you can contact someone who
has been working on that problem.
Jack L. Uretsky
I do not know about elementary texts. But there is excellent
software available if you are willing to spend the money,
and there are a bunch of things available for free if
you can find them... The Gaussian suite of programs does
an enormous variety of quantum chemistry calculations, starting
from Hartree Fock theory, for just about any chemical you want.
But I think it costs on the order of $1000 for a license. Your
local chemistry department may already have a copy though.
For readability at the elementary level I would recommend chapters 7,
8 and 9 of "Quantum Chemistry" by Donald A. McQuarrie (University Science
Books, Mill Valley, CA). The HF idea is simple: pick the best possible
wavefunction that can be written as a properly antisymmetrized combination
of singleelectron orbitals. If you know calculus of variations, you can
derive the HF equations from just this and the variational principle. But
in terms of actually *doing* (near) HFlevel calculations, the method is
normally actually HartreeFockRoothaan, i.e. you introduce a basis set
into the HF eqns. The trick of course is choosing a good basis set, and I
do not know where *that* is discussed outside of the quantum chemistry
research literature. HF is not good enough to predict chemistry,
typically, you need to treat correlation energy for that. You may also be
interested in the KohnSham densityfunctional theory, a quite different
approach. If it still exists, you may be able to get programs from the
Quantum Chemistry Program Exchange (QCPE) at Indiana University in
Bloomington, Indiana. They may be free. If you just want results,
McQuarrie has some nice pictures of atomic and molecular orbitals for
diatomics. You can get complete HFRoothaan wavefunctions for the atoms up
to xenon in a report by E. Clementi in "Atomic and Nuclear Data Tables,"
published in the 60s maybe.
"Any chemical", eh? And I waste my time with these silly empirical
models for megadalton polyethylene, sigh.
Arthur Smith
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Update: June 2012

