# FRONTIERS ARTICLE: Towards an exact correlated orbital theory for electrons,Rodney J. Bartlett, Chemical Physics Letters, 484, (2009) 1–9

The formal and computational attraction of effective one-particle theories like Hartree–Fock and density functional theory raise the question of how far such approaches can be taken to offer exact results for selected properties of electrons in atoms, molecules, and solids. Some properties can be exactly described within an effective one-particle theory, like principal ionization potentials and electron affinities. This fact can be used to develop equations for a correlated orbital theory (COT) that guarantees a correct one-particle energy spectrum. They are built upon a coupled-cluster based frequency independent self-energy operator presented here, which distinguishes the approach from Dyson theory. The COT also offers an alternative to Kohn–Sham density functional theory (DFT), whose objective is to represent the electronic density exactly as a single determinant, while paying less attention to the energy spectrum. For any estimate of two-electron terms COT offers a litmus test of its accuracy for principal Ip’s and Ea’s. This feature for approximating the COT equations is illustrated numerically.

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