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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 4, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 12, 2024
  3. Abstract

    Classical turning surfaces of Kohn–Sham potentials separate classically allowed regions (CARs) from classically forbidden regions (CFRs). They are useful for understanding many chemical properties of molecules but need not exist in solids, where the density never decays to zero. At equilibrium geometries, we find that CFRs are absent in perfect metals, rare in covalent semiconductors at equilibrium, but common in ionic and molecular crystals. In all materials, CFRs appear or grow as the internuclear distances are uniformly expanded. They can also appear at a monovacancy in a metal. Calculations with several approximate density functionals and codes confirm these behaviors. A classical picture of conduction suggests that CARs should be connected in metals, and disconnected in wide-gap insulators, and is confirmed in the limits of extreme compression and expansion. Surprisingly, many semiconductors have no CFR at equilibrium, a key finding for density functional construction. Nonetheless, a strong correlation with insulating behavior can still be inferred. Moreover, equilibrium bond lengths for all cases can be estimated from the bond type and the sum of the classical turning radii of the free atoms or ions.

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  4. Strong correlations within a symmetry-unbroken ground-state wavefunction can show up in approximate density functional theory as symmetry-broken spin densities or total densities, which are sometimes observable. They can arise from soft modes of fluctuations (sometimes collective excitations) such as spin-density or charge-density waves at nonzero wavevector. In this sense, an approximate density functional for exchange and correlation that breaks symmetry can be more revealing (albeit less accurate) than an exact functional that does not. The examples discussed here include the stretched H2molecule, antiferromagnetic solids, and the static charge-density wave/Wigner crystal phase of a low-density jellium. Time-dependent density functional theory is used to show quantitatively that the static charge-density wave is a soft plasmon. More precisely, the frequency of a related density fluctuation drops to zero, as found from the frequency moments of the spectral function, calculated from a recent constraint-based wavevector- and frequency-dependent jellium exchange-correlation kernel.

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