## Abstract

In this work we develop a complete variational many-body theory for a system of N trapped bosons interacting via a general two-body potential. The many-body solution of this system is expanded over orthogonal many-body basis functions (configurations). In this theory both the many-body basis functions and the respective expansion coefficients are treated as variational parameters. The optimal variational parameters are obtained self-consistently by solving a coupled system of noneigenvalueâ€"generally integro- differentialâ€"equations to get the one-particle functions and by diagonalizing the secular matrix problem to find the expansion coefficients. We call this theory multiconfigurational Hartree theory for bosons or MCHB(M), where M specifies explicitly the number of one-particle functions used to construct the configurations. General rules for evaluating the matrix elements of one- and two-particle operators are derived and applied to construct the secular Hamiltonian matrix. We discuss properties of the derived equations. We show that in the limiting cases of one configuration the theory boils down to the well-known Gross-Pitaevskii and the recently developed multi-orbital mean fields. The invariance of the complete solution with respect to unitary transformations of the one-particle functions is utilized to find the solution with the minimal number of contributing configurations. In the second part of our work we implement and apply the developed theory. It is demonstrated that for any practical computation where the configurational space is restricted, the description of trapped bosonic systems strongly depends on the choice of the many-body basis set used, i.e., self-consistency is of great relevance. As illustrative examples we consider bosonic systems trapped in one- and two-dimensional symmetric and asymmetric double well potentials. We demonstrate that self-consistency has great impact on the predicted physical properties of the ground and excited states and show that the lack of self-consistency may lead to physically wrong predictions. The convergence of the general MCHB(M) scheme with a growing number M is validated in a specific case of two bosons trapped in a symmetric double well.

Original language | English |
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Article number | 063626 |

Journal | Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics |

Volume | 73 |

Issue number | 6 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - 2006 |

Externally published | Yes |

## ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics