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The chapters in this monograph are contributions from the Advances in Quantum Monte Carlo symposium held at Pacifichem 2010, International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies. The symposium was dedicated to celebrate the career of James B. Anderson, a notable researcher in the field.
Quantum Monte Carlo provides an ab initio solution to the Schroedinger equation by performing a random walk through configuration space in imaginary time. Benchmark calculations suggest that its most commonly-used variant, "fixed-node" diffusion Monte Carlo, estimates energies with an accuracy comparable to that of high-level coupled-cluster calculations. These two methods, each having advantages and disadvantages, are complementary "gold-standards" of quantum chemistry.
There are challenges facing researchers in the field, several of which are addressed in the chapters in this monograph. These include improving the accuracy and precision of quantum Monte Carlo calculations; understanding the exchange nodes and utilizing the simulated electron distribution; extending the method to large and/or experimentally-challenging systems; and developing hybrid molecular mechanics/dynamics and Monte Carlo algorithms.
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Shigenori Tanaka is a professor at Tanaka University. Stuart M. Rothstein is a professor at Brock University. William Lester is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
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