Analysis of periodic Schrodinger operators: regularity and approximation of eigenfunctions.

Let V be a real valued potential that is smooth everywhere on R 3 , except at a periodic, discrete set S of points, where it has singularities of the Coulomb-type Z/r . We assume that the potential V is periodic with period lattice L . We study the spectrum of the Schrödinger operator H=−Δ+V acting on the space of Bloch waves with arbitrary, but fixed, wavevector k . Let T≔R 3 /L . Let u be an eigenfunction of H with eigenvalueλ and let ϵ>0 be arbitrarily small. We show that the classical regularity of the eigenfunction u is u∊H 5/2−ϵ (T) in the usual Sobolev spaces, and u∊K m 3/2−ϵ (T\S) in the weighted Sobolev spaces. The regularity index m can be as large as desired, which is crucial for numerical methods. For any choice of the Bloch wavevector k , we also show that H has compact resolvent and hence a complete eigenfunction expansion. The case of the hydrogen atom suggests that our regularity results are optimal. We present two applications to the numerical approximation of eigenvalues: using wave functions and using piecewise polynomials.