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  1. Kohn-Sham density functional theory with the available exchange–correlation functionals is less accurate for strongly correlated systems, which require a multiconfigurational description as a zero-order function, than for weakly correlated systems, and available functionals of the spin densities do not accurately predict energies for many strongly correlated systems when one uses multiconfigurational wave functions with spin symmetry. Furthermore, adding a correlation functional to a multiconfigurational reference energy can lead to double counting of electron correlation. Multiconfiguration pair-density functional theory (MC-PDFT) overcomes both obstacles, the second by calculating the quantum mechanical part of the electronic energy entirely by a functional, and the first by using a functional of the total density and the on-top pair density rather than the spin densities. This allows one to calculate the energy of strongly correlated systems efficiently with a pair-density functional and a suitable multiconfigurational reference function. This article reviews MC-PDFT and related background information.
  2. The molecules 1,4-cyclohexadiene (unconjugated 1,4-CHD) and 1,3-cyclohexadiene (conjugated 1,3-CHD) both have two double bonds, but these bonds interact in different ways. These molecules have long served as examples of through-bond and through-space interactions, respectively, and their electronic structures have been studied in detail both experimentally and theoretically, with the experimental assignments being especially complete. The existence of Rydberg states interspersed with the valence states makes the quantum mechanical calculation of their spectra a challenging task. In this work, we explore the electronic excitation energies of 1,4-CHD and 1,3-CHD for both valence and Rydberg states by means of complete active space second-order perturbation theory (CASPT2), extended multi-state CASPT2 (XMS-CASPT2), and multiconfiguration pair-density functional theory (MC-PDFT); it is shown by comparison to experiment that MC-PDFT yields the most accurate results. We found that the inclusion of Rydberg orbitals in the active space not only enables the calculation of Rydberg excitation energies but also improves the accuracy of the valence ones. A special characteristic of the present analysis is the calculation of the second moments of the excited-state orbitals. Because we find that the CASPT2 densities agree well with the CASSCF ones and since the MC-PDFT methods gets accurate excitation energies based onmore »the CASSCF densities, we believe that we can trust these moments as far as giving a more accurate picture of the diffuseness of the excited-state orbitals in these prototype molecules than has previously been available.« less