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** Contents**

In this chapter, the principal ideas behind Quantum Monte Carlo
methods are outlined. The theory of Monte Carlo integration is
presented, and overviews given of the variational Monte Carlo method
and the more sophisticated and accurate diffusion Monte Carlo
method. These methods are both applications of Monte Carlo integration
and form the basis for most of the calculations in this thesis.
Efficient implementation of these methods is critical. Inefficiencies
increase computational overheads and effectively limit the size of
system and statistical accuracy that may be obtained. Although some
details and suggestions for efficient calculations are given, full
details of application of the methods to electronic structure problems
and their implementation are presented in the following chapter.

© Paul Kent