Date Awarded

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Shiwei Zhang

Committee Member

Shiwei Zhang

Committee Member

Seth Aubin

Committee Member

Henry Krakauer

Committee Member

Kostas Orginos


The study of strongly correlated quantum many-body systems is an outstanding challenge. Highly accurate results are needed for the understanding of practical and fundamental problems in condensed-matter physics, high energy physics, material science, quantum chemistry and so on. Our familiar mean-field or perturbative methods tend to be ineffective. Numerical simulations provide a promising approach for studying such systems. The fundamental difficulty of numerical simulation is that the dimension of the Hilbert space needed to describe interacting systems increases exponentially with the system size. Quantum Monte Carlo (QMC) methods are one of the best approaches to tackle the problem of enormous Hilbert space. They have been highly successful for boson systems and unfrustrated spin models. For systems with fermions, the exchange symmetry in general causes the infamous sign problem, making the statistical noise in the computed results grow exponentially with the system size. This hinders our understanding of interesting physics such as high-temperature superconductivity, metal-insulator phase transition. In this thesis, we present a variety of new developments in the auxiliary-field quantum Monte Carlo (AFQMC) methods, including the incorporation of symmetry in both the trial wave function and the projector, developing the constraint release method, using the force-bias to drastically improve the efficiency in Metropolis framework, identifying and solving the infinite variance problem, and sampling Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov wave function. With these developments, some of the most challenging many-electron problems are now under control. We obtain an exact numerical solution of two-dimensional strongly interacting Fermi atomic gas, determine the ground state properties of the 2D Fermi gas with Rashba spin-orbit coupling, provide benchmark results for the ground state of the two-dimensional Hubbard model, and establish that the Hubbard model has a stripe order in the underdoped region.



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