Richardson–Gaudin mean-field for strong correlation in quantum chemistry
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Ground state eigenvectors of the reduced Bardeen-Cooper-Schrieffer Hamiltonian are employed as a wavefunction Ansatz to model strong electron correlation in quantum chemistry. This wavefunction is a product of weakly interacting pairs of electrons. While other geminal wavefunctions may only be employed in a projected Schrödinger equation, the present approach may be solved variationally with polynomial cost. The resulting wavefunctions are used to compute expectation values of Coulomb Hamiltonians, and we present results for atoms and dissociation curves that are in agreement with doubly occupied configuration interaction data. The present approach will serve as the starting point for a many-body theory of pairs, much as Hartree-Fock is the starting point for weakly correlated electrons.
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