Syllabus for Density Functional Theory (DFT) I

Täthetsfunktionalteori (DFT) I


  • 5 credits
  • Course code: 1FA584
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
  • Established: 2013-03-21
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2018-08-30
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 30, 2019
  • Entry requirements: 120 credits with quantum physics/quantum mechanics.
  • Responsible department: Department of Physics and Astronomy

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • account for the fundamental background of Density Functional Theory (DFT).
  • explain how electron correlation is defined and how it is approximated within DFT and compare these approximations to other correlated methods.
  • explain the Hohenberg-Kohn theorems and their application.
  • account for the Kohn-Sham equations and density functionals, such as Slater's X-alpha and the Local Density Approximation (LDA).
  • illustrate the difference between more modern functionals such as the PBE and B3LYP functionals and earlier functionals, such as the LDA functional.
  • identify the areas within computational physics where DFT generally performs well and also areas where the theory fails in predicting properties of bulk materials or molecules.
  • to be able to determine, from a physical context, weather or not the properties of a certain material can be studied by means of DFT or any other correlated method, and if so, select the method which is the more suitable.


Electron correlation, the Perdew-Burke-Ernzerhof functional (PBE), local density approximation (LDA), hybrid functionals (such as B3LYP), Kohn-Sham equations, Hohenberg-Kohn's Theorem, adiabatic connection, exchange correlation hole, exchange interaction, self interaction, functional derivative, Janak's theorem, transition state theory, finite temperature (Mermin) functionals, N-representability and V-representability.




Project with written report and oral presentation.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 30, 2019

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Koch, Wolfram; Holthausen, Max C. A chemist's guide to density functional theory

    2. ed.: Weinheim: Wiley-VCH, cop. 2001

    Find in the library