CMMS Distinguished Lecture: Kieron Burke

Professor of Heretical Physical and Computational Chemistry and of Physics & Astronomy, University of California – Irvine

Why Density Functional Theory Works

Wednesday, May 5, 3:30 – 4:30 pm
1175 Benedum


ABSTRACT: This lecture is for a general audience. I will discuss the enormous successes and spectacular failures of ground-state density functional theory, as currently applied to electronic structure problems in chemistry, physics, materials, etc. I claim that our understanding of why DFT works is seriously incomplete, but outline recent work addressing this deficit. See for more information.

BIO: Kieron Burke is a professor in both the chemistry and physics departments at UC Irvine. He began his checkered academic career as a chemical engineering student at University College Dublin, but was drawn to the study of quantum mechanics by Dirac’s monograph. He is one of the leading developers of density functional theory, a method for solving the Schroedinger equation for electrons that can be easily applied to molecules with hundreds of atoms which has transformed modern chemistry. His current interests include removing empiricism from the theory, the foundations of the time-dependent theory, molecular electronics, electron-atom scattering, including nuclear motion beyond Born-Oppenheimer, and open quantum systems. He has won several awards for teaching and research, and was recently elected a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Dr. Burke Website