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Antisymmetric Functions and Slater Determinants

### Abstract

Given a function *w* completely antisymmetric in *n* variables, there may exist a set of *n*functions of one variable such that the given function is a Slater determinant in the latter. The first problem considered is that of obtaining a criterion for this to be the case for a given function. This problem is solved by considering the function *w* as a mapping of the space of functions in *n* − 1 variables onto the space of functions of one variable. A necessary and sufficient condition for the initial function to be a Slater determinant is then shown to be that the image space be *n* dimensional. This criterion is converted into practical algorithms which can be employed for the determination. The application of one of these yields the theorem that an arbitrary linear combination of the *n* + 1 Slater determinants in *n* variables formed from *n* + 1 one‐variable functions can always be written as a single Slater determinant. It is further proved that if the image space of the mapping is *m*(>*n*) dimensional, the original function can be expressed as a linear combination of *m*!/(*m* − *n*)!*n*! Slater determinants in *n* variables formed from *m* one‐variable functions. Playing an important role in the analysis is the product of the mapping described above by its adjoint (the product is simply related to Dirac's density matrix for a quantum mechanical system of identical particles) as well as the eigenvectors and eigenvalues of this Hermitian positive semidefinite mapping. The latter form a basis for a systematic approximation procedure for representing a given function by a single Slater determinant or by sums of Slater determinants formed from a particular number of one‐variable functions, which yields results obtained previously by Löwdin. Problems of simultaneous approximation of sets of antisymmetric functions and possible physical applications to many‐fermion systems are briefly discussed.

© 1962 American Institute of Physics

Received 27 October 1961
Published online 22 December 2004

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2004-12-22

2016-08-31

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