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J Chem Phys. 2005 Feb 8;122(6):064104.

Connection between the regular approximation and the normalized elimination of the small component in relativistic quantum theory.

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  • 1Department of Theoretical Chemistry, Göteborg University, Kemigården 3, S-41296 Göteborg, Sweden.


The regular approximation to the normalized elimination of the small component (NESC) in the modified Dirac equation has been developed and presented in matrix form. The matrix form of the infinite-order regular approximation (IORA) expressions, obtained in [Filatov and Cremer, J. Chem. Phys. 118, 6741 (2003)] using the resolution of the identity, is the exact matrix representation and corresponds to the zeroth-order regular approximation to NESC (NESC-ZORA). Because IORA (=NESC-ZORA) is a variationally stable method, it was used as a suitable starting point for the development of the second-order regular approximation to NESC (NESC-SORA). As shown for hydrogenlike ions, NESC-SORA energies are closer to the exact Dirac energies than the energies from the fifth-order Douglas-Kroll approximation, which is much more computationally demanding than NESC-SORA. For the application of IORA (=NESC-ZORA) and NESC-SORA to many-electron systems, the number of the two-electron integrals that need to be evaluated (identical to the number of the two-electron integrals of a full Dirac-Hartree-Fock calculation) was drastically reduced by using the resolution of the identity technique. An approximation was derived, which requires only the two-electron integrals of a nonrelativistic calculation. The accuracy of this approach was demonstrated for heliumlike ions. The total energy based on the approximate integrals deviates from the energy calculated with the exact integrals by less than 5 x 10(-9) hartree units. NESC-ZORA and NESC-SORA can easily be implemented in any nonrelativistic quantum chemical program. Their application is comparable in cost with that of nonrelativistic methods. The methods can be run with density functional theory and any wave function method. NESC-SORA has the advantage that it does not imply a picture change.

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