Simons Foundation Launches Simons Collaboration on the Many Electron Problem

The Simons Foundation’s Mathematics and Physical Sciences (MPS) division is pleased to announce the creation of the Simons Collaboration on the Many Electron Problem, a program focused on developing, implementing and applying new methods for determining the quantum mechanical behavior of systems comprising many interacting electrons. The goal is to advance our understanding of the electronic properties of molecules and solids important in physics, chemistry and technology.

“The Simons collaboration brings together scientists who have developed the most exciting new approaches. It addresses issues that are often neglected,” says Steven White, a faculty member at the University of California, Irvine, and one of the collaboration’s directors. “It will foster communication between scientists who largely work in different fields, helping the transfer of techniques and ideas.”

Many Electrons Collaboration Group

Collaboration group leaders (clockwise from top left) Mark van Schilfgaarde, Antoine Georges, Emanuel Gull and Steve White.

Collaboration scientists at universities and research institutes in the United States, Canada and Europe will work together to develop concepts such as quantum embedding methods, tensor network and matrix product formalisms and Monte Carlo sampling of abstractly defined spaces. Collaboration researchers will integrate these ideas into chemically realistic electronic structure methodologies. The collaboration, together with the Simons Center for Data Analysis, will support the development of software platforms, libraries and code repositories.

The collaboration will encourage and support scientific exchanges. The Simons Foundation will host frequent working group meetings as well as a larger annual meeting. There will also be a yearly summer school to train graduate students and postdoctoral scientists in needed theoretical and computational techniques. By linking researchers at different institutions and with different points of view, the project will strive to create a fertile environment for new ideas and discoveries.

“My hope is that, several years from now, key progress on this long-lasting problem will have been achieved thanks to this collaboration,” says collaboration member Antoine Georges, a professor at École Polytechnique and College de France. “This group of highly motivated people will give new momentum to the field.”