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Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Dec 1;97(22):223002. Epub 2006 Nov 30.

Relevance of the slowly varying electron gas to atoms, molecules, and solids.

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  • 1Department of Physics and Quantum Theory Group, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana 70118, USA.


We present a Thomas-Fermi-inspired density scaling under which electron densities of atomic, molecular, or condensed matter become both large and slowly varying, so that semiclassical approximations and second-order density gradient expansions are asymptotically exact for the kinetic and exchange energies. Thus, even for atoms and molecules, density-functional approximations should recover the universal second-order gradient expansions in this limit. We also explain why common generalized gradient approximations for exchange do not.

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