The authors review new techniques developed to apply the variational method to the nuclear matter problem. The variational wave function is taken to be () ; the correlation operators can in principle induce central, backflow, spin isospin, tensor, etc. correlations, and is the ideal Fermi gas wave function. The application of diagrammatic cluster expansion and chain summation techniques to calculate expectation values with such wave functions is discussed in detail. The authors also give a brief overview of various other approaches to the calculation of the binding energies of quantum fluids, and a comparison of results for simple systems such ad helium liquids. Results obtained by various methods for simplified models of nuclear matter, which include central, spin, isospin, and tensor forces, have converged significantly in recent months. Results obtained with more realistic models which include the spin-orbit potentials are also discussed. The potential models considered so far either give too little binding or too high equilibrium density.
© 1979 American Physical Society