Self-consistent field approach to the many-electron problem

H. Ehrenreich, M. H. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1169 Scopus citations


The self-consistent field method in which a many-electron system is described by a time-dependent interaction of a single electron with a self-consistent electromagnetic field is shown to be equivalent for many purposes to the treatment given by Sawada and Brout. Starting with the correct many-electron Hamiltonian, it is found, when the approximations characteristic of the Sawada-Brout scheme are made, that the equation of motion for the pair creation operators is the same as that for the one-particle density matrix in the self-consistent field framework. These approximations are seen to correspond to (1) factorization of the two-particle density matrix, and (2) linearization with respect to off-diagonal components of the one-particle density matrix. The complex, frequency-dependent dielectric constant is obtained straight-forwardly from the self-consistent field approach both for a free-electron gas and a real solid. It is found to be the same as that obtained by Noziéres and Pines in the random phase approximation. The resulting plasma dispersion relation for the solid in the limit of long wavelengths is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)786-790
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1959
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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