Yang, W, *Gradient correction in Thomas-Fermi theory*,
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, vol. 34 no. 6
(1986),
pp. 4575-4585 [doi] .
**Abstract:**

*A new derivation of the Weizsacker-type gradient corrections to Thomas-Fermi (TF) kinetic energy functional is presented. The development is based on the first-order reduced density matrix as obtained from the one-body Greens function in the mean-path approximation devised for the purpose, using the Feynman path-integral approach; the mean-path approximation turns out to be essentially equivalent to the eikonal approximation used in quantum collision theory for high-energy collisions. This derivation agrees with the conventional gradient expansion truncated at second order, in that it gives the kinetic energy functional of the TF-(1/9)W model, that is, the sum of the original TF kinetic energy and (1/9) of the Weizsacker gradient correction. However, in the present derivation, TF-(1/9)W results from a reduced density matrix of closed form; the original TF local relation between particle, density, and one-body potential is preserved; and the kinetic energy density contains a Laplacian of particle density with a factor half of that from the gradient expansion. Most significantly, the TF-(1/9)W kinetic energy functional is the consequence of representing both the diagonal and off-diagonal elements of the density matrix correctly to zero order through the mean-path approximation to the one-body Greens function, whereas in the conventional TF approximation, the zero order of the gradient expansion, off-diagonal elements are not correct to the same order. Other results of the present approach include a nonlocal exchange energy functional of density, a one-body effective potential that contains a contribution from the kinetic energy functional derivative, and the construction of closed-form density matrices that give various kinetic energy functionals of TF-W form (justifying various existing empirical values). Also presented are the results of numerical calculation for rare-gas atoms of TFD-W models (TFD denotes Thomas-Fermi-Dirac) with =(1/3), 0.186, (1/6), and (1/9).. AE. © 1986 The American Physical Society.*