The 23rd ETSF Workshop on Electronic Excitations Interdisciplinary views on quantum many-body theory
The University of Milan, Italy, September 10 – 14, 2018
The 2018 edition of the European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility (ETSF) Workshop on Electronic Excitations has been dedicated at fostering the cross-fertilization between different approaches to many-body phenomena, transcending the traditional barriers between disciplines. The workshop therefore brought together experts facing similar problems from different perspectives, for different applications, and often with a different language. Besides discussing application of many-body theories to excitations in condensed matter, i.e. the traditional field of expertise of ETSF, topics covered by the workshop included nuclear physics, quantum chemistry, ultrafast excitation dynamics, quantum transport, topological insulators and novel algorithmic approaches to many-body problems inspired by machine learning and data science.
Many of you will have heard by now the tragic news that our dearest friend and colleague Alessandro De Vita passed away on Tuesday afternoon. Sandro was killed in a motorbike accident while going to the airport. Commuting between Trieste and London, two most beloved cities for him, was part of his life – a life that he lived so fully.
We have received an outpouring of grief in the last two days that is a testament to how much loved he was, and how strong was his impact in the life of the people that met him – his sharp intelligence, his infinite knowledge, his surprising imagination, his unbridled talk, his mischievous and deeply generous spirit all stood out. And most of all, his passions in life – the friends, the science, the music, the poetry.
Psi-k and CECAM, to which Sandro gave so much, will think of public ways to celebrate him, and any suggestion would be most welcome. If you wanted to dedicate some of your thoughts to him, he would have had a few suggestions himself. Light a candle, somewhere. Say a prayer. Listen to Glenn Gould play the 25th Goldberg variation – he always said that it contained all the sorrow of the world.
We are all with you, Sandro – with Christine, with your family, with your friends.
The 17th International Conference on Density-Functional Theory and its Applications (DFT2017) took place in Tällberg, Sweden, in August 2017. The conference belongs to a series of biennial meetings, which have taken place in Paris (1995), Vienna (1997), Rome (1999), Madrid (2001), Brussels (2003), Geneva (2005), Amsterdam (2007), Lyon (2009), Athens (2011), Durham (2013), Debrecen (2015) and Tällberg (2017). DFT2017 covered a wide range of topics related with density functional theory. It brought together the foremost researchers from all around the world working on the development of the theory, extensions to new fields and providing a broad range of fascinating applications.
Prof. Dr. Olle Eriksson, Uppsala University, Sweden
Prof. Dr. Börje Johansson, KTH Stockholm, Sweden
Dr. Xiaoqing Li, Uppsala University, Sweden
Doc. Stephan Schönecker, KTH Stockholm, Sweden
Prof. Dr. Levente Vitos, KTH Stockholm, Sweden
International Scientific Committee:
Prof. Dr. Henry Chermette, Universite de Lyon, France
Prof. Dr. Claude A. Daul, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Prof. Dr. Jose M. Garcia de la Vega, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain
Prof. Dr. Paul Geerlings, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium
Prof. Dr. Paola Gori-Giorgi, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
Prof. Dr. Miguel A. L. Marques, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
Prof. Dr. Ágnes Nagy, University of Debrecen, Hungary
Prof. Dr. Dennis R. Salahub, University of Calgary, Canada
Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Schwarz, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
Prof. Dr. David J. Tozer, University of Durham, United Kingdom
Prof. Dr. Levente Vitos, KTH Stockholm, Sweden
Description and summary:
In 2017, the broadest international meeting on DFT was organized for the first time in Scandinavia.Fifty three years passed since the fundamental theorems behind one of the most successful quantum theory of inhomogeneous electron gas were put forward. Already in its original form, DFT was suitable to explain a series of phenomena related to simple molecules and solids. It took nearly a quarter of century when it became robust enough to account for the magnetic ground state of a chunk of single crystal iron. More than a decade of future research was required in order to extend the scope of DFT to complex high-technology materials. Continue reading Scientific report on the 17th International Conference on Density-Functional Theory and its Applications→
Point defects acting as color centers in solids may realize single photon source and quantum bits that can be harnessed in quantum information processing and nanoscale sensor applications which may revolutionize the info-communication technology, biological research and therapy. The leading contender is the nitrogenvacancy center in diamond which may be considered as a robust quantum tool. Several quantum algorithms and protocols for sensing have been already demonstrated by this center. However, researchers face many materials science problems in order to maintain the favorable intrinsic properties of this color center that can be perturbed by other defects either in bulk or at the surface of diamond that is difficult to resolve because of its chemical hardness and the concurrent stability of carbon allotropes.
Recently, theory-driven search for alternative materials could identify other quantum bit candidates in technologically mature wide band gap semiconductors, particularly silicon carbide, that have been recently demonstrated in experiments. However, the knowledge about these color centers is scarce and only the tight collaboration of experimental and atomistic simulation researchers would lead to a rapid progress in the field. The proposed workshop aims at bringing together world-leading experts in all these fields to improve interdisciplinary cooperation overcoming traditional boundaries between scientific disciplines.
CECAM-PSI-K conference, Madrid, 27th -31st August 2018
Organizers: Linda A. Zotti, Juan Carlos Cuevas, Rubén Pérez
Venue: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain
Sponsors: PSI_K & CECAM (83%), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (11%), IFIMAC (5%) and Catedra UAM-Fujitsu (2.5%)
BIOMOLECTRO was a very exciting event which took place this summer in Madrid. The aim of the conference was to bring together theoreticians and experimentalists working on the subject of electron transport through biomolecules such as proteins, peptides or DNA, as well as through bio-inspired devices and systems like bacterial nanowires. The conference was very successful, joining many world-leading scientists and proving that the field of biomolecular electronics is most certainly flourishing. This is thanks to the plethora of rich physical and chemical properties biomolecules have to offer (such as redox and optical functionalities as well as specific chemical recognition and self-assembly ) and to their potential to be employed in nanoscale devices.
July 10, 2017 to July 21, 2017
Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Pysics, Trieste
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS (reference code or initiative in parentheses)
Volker Blum (ELSI), Viktor Yu (ELSI), William Huhn (ELSI), David Lopez (Siesta), Yann Pouillon (Abinit), Micael Oliveira (Octopus & Abinit), Fabiano Corsetti (Siesta & Onetep), Paolo Giannozzi (QE), Anoop Chandran (QE), Pietro Delugas (QE), Ivan Carnimeo (QE), Emine Kucukbenli (QE), Layla Martin-Samos (QE), Stefano de Gironcoli (QE), Ivan Girotto (QE).
First Two Days: round table presentations and discussions focusing on an analysis of the available ESL “utility tools” and on opportunities for code reuse.
From Day Three: daily morning update of the work done and planning the activity for the day. Coding sessions.
WORKSHOP MOTIVATION AND OUTCOME:
In the past several decades Electronic Structure methods have mostly been developed in self contained monolithic software distributions implementing a variety of features. Currently most of these large codes contain routines with overlapping functionality and make use of non-standard data formats due to historical reasons, and as the state of the art in theory and computer hardware progresses, the complexity of these codes continue to grow separately, in a way that reduces their inter-operability with each new version. Continue reading ELECTRONIC STRUCTURE LIBRARY CODING WORKSHOP: DRIVERS→
Organizers: Angel Rubio, Eberhard K. U. Gross, Miguel A. L. Marques, Neepa Maitra, Alberto Castro
There are many alternative schemes to approach the time-dependent, out-of-equilibrium, many-electron problem. Time-dependent density-functional theory (TDDFT) has a significant “market share” due to the same reasons that make conventional ground state density-functional theory (DFT) a successful scheme: the fairly good predictive power at a moderate computational cost. As a consequence, its use has quickly grown, and its reliability for many purposes has been sanctioned by many applications and benchmarks over the years. As the computational resources increase, however, various alternatives such as advanced post-Hartree Fock multi-configuration schemes or many-body perturbation theory techniques can be applied to larger systems, and may provide more precise results. Newer and more intriguing possibilities, such as the direct solution of the many-electron Schrödinger equation with quantum computers, and the use of machine learning techniques for the prediction of many properties, appear also in the horizon. It is therefore necessary to review the capabilities and perspectives of TDDFT. This is the main goal of the Workshop, and of the School that we organized immediately before the Workshop.
This School+Workshop event is in fact a new iteration of a series dedicated to TDDFT, that started in 2004. It takes place every two years, a periodicity that we feel that is adequate to follow the advances in the topic. However, it always takes place in Europe, and there was a strong demand for a similar event taking place in the US, due to the difficulties in the travel, specially for students and young researchers. Fortunately, the demand was met in the last year by a similar event (a school on TDDFT followed by a workshop on first principles approaches to the electronic excited states problem) that took place in Telluride, Colorado. Part of the organizers of this event were also present in Benasque, and the goal is to periodically repeat the US event, also every two years if possible. It should be noted, also, that a similar event is being planned in Asia (Tsukuba, Japan), by Prof. K. Yabana.
Please note that the September 2018 Psi-k Scientific Highlight article entitled The Computational 2D Materials Database: High-Throughput Modeling and Discovery of Atomically Thin Crystals by Sten Haastrup et al. is available for viewing at or downloading from the Psi-k Webpage psi-k.net/highlights or directly at psi-k.net/dowlnload/highlights/Highlight_142.pdf
Organizers: Claudia Filippi (University of Twente, The Netherlands), Filippo Lipparini (University of Pisa, Italy), Benedetta Mennucci (University of Pisa, Italy)
The scientific aim of the Psi-k workshop “Photoinduced Processes in Embedded Systems” was to bring together researchers from the physics, chemistry, and biophysics communities working on the computational study of photo-physical processes in complex systems. Modelling such phenomena is challenging since they involve very different space and time scales, from the extremely fast, localized absorption of light to the collective, slow motions of the environment.
The workshop has focused on some of the most recent theoretical and algorithmic developments in the field such as:
DFT embedding for excited states
Hybrid QM/Classical approaches
Highly-correlated methods for excited-state dynamics
TDDFT outside the Franck-Condon region
These methodological aspects have been framed in the context of realistic applications to materials and biosystems such as:
Natural photosynthetic systems
Photo-induced signal transduction in bio-systems
Bio-mimetic light-driven molecular devices
Photo-induced charge propagation in solar-energy devices
The workshop on Emergence of surface and interface structure from friction, fracture and deformation , held at CECAM HQ in Lausanne from 24-27th July 2018, considered the topographic, morphological and chemical structure of surfaces and interfaces that arises from mechanical processes and how this structure affect the mechanical behaviour of materials but cannot typically be systematically controlled. As well as Psi-k, the workshop received support from CECAM, the DFG and EPSRC.