Theoretical ideas and experimental results concerning high-temperature superconductors are reviewed. Special emphasis is given to calculations performed with the help of computers applied to models of strongly correlated electrons proposed to describe the two-dimensional Cu planes. The review also includes results using several analytical techniques. The one- and three-band Hubbard models and the model are discussed, and their behavior compared against experiments when available. The author found, among the conclusions of the review, that some experimentally observed unusual properties of the cuprates have a natural explanation through Hubbard-like models. In particular, abnormal features like the mid-infrared band of the optical conductivity , the new states observed in the gap in photoemission experiments, the behavior of the spin correlations with doping, and the presence of phase separation in the copper oxide superconductors may be explained, at least in part, by these models. Finally, the existence of superconductivity in Hubbard-like models is analyzed. Some aspects of the recently proposed ideas to describe the cuprates as having a superconducting condensate at low temperatures are discussed. Numerical results favor this scenario over others. It is concluded that computational techniques provide a useful, unbiased tool for studying the difficult regime where electrons are strongly interacting, and that considerable progress can be achieved by comparing numerical results against analytical predictions for the properties of these models. Future directions of the active field of computational studies of correlated electrons are briefly discussed.
© 1994 The American Physical Society