Author(s): Herrero CP, Ramrez R
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Abstract The path-integral formulation of the statistical mechanics of quantum many-body systems is described, with the purpose of introducing practical techniques for the simulation of solids. Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics methods for distinguishable quantum particles are presented, with particular attention to the isothermal-isobaric ensemble. Applications of these computational techniques to different types of solids are reviewed, including noble-gas solids (helium and heavier elements), group-IV materials (diamond and elemental semiconductors), and molecular solids (with emphasis on hydrogen and ice). Structural, vibrational, and thermodynamic properties of these materials are discussed. Applications also include point defects in solids (structure and diffusion), as well as nuclear quantum effects in solid surfaces and adsorbates. Different phenomena are discussed, as solid-to-solid and orientational phase transitions, rates of quantum processes, classical-to-quantum crossover, and various finite-temperature anharmonic effects (thermal expansion, isotopic effects, electron-phonon interactions). Nuclear quantum effects are most remarkable in the presence of light atoms, so that especial emphasis is laid on solids containing hydrogen as a constituent element or as an impurity.
This article was published in J Phys Condens Matter
and referenced in Journal of Applied & Computational Mathematics