Copyright (c) 2019 David M. Rogers
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This work presents parallel histories of the development of two modern theories of condensed matter: the theory of electron structure in quantum mechanics, and the theory of liquid structure in statistical mechanics. Comparison shows that key revelations in both are not only remarkably similar, but even follow along a common thread of controversy that marks progress from antiquity through to the present. This theme appears as a creative tension between two competing philosophies, that of short range structure (atomistic models) on the one hand, and long range structure (continuum or density functional models) on the other. The timeline and technical content are designed to build up a set of key relations as guideposts for using density functional theories together with atomistic simulation.