A quantitative understanding of bonding in condensed matter systems demands a solution of the many electron problem. This course will show how the many electron problem can be mapped onto single electron problems in an approximate way (Hartree and Hartree Fock approximations) and a formally exact way (density functional theory and the Kohn Sham equations). Further, some of the methodology used to solve the Kohn Sham equations in complex systems will be described. In the last part of the lectures, some examples will be analysed, and we will critically evaluate the strength and weaknesses of DFT and other ab-initio electronic structure methods.

Niels is a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Manchester. His research interests are in the theory of condensed matter and nuclear physics, combining computational and theoretical approaches, using many-body and ab initio techniques. He has a special interest in twistronics and higher-order topological materials. Outside physics, he works as associate Dean for Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Science and Engineering.