ETSF’s Top Online Tutorials, April 2020

At a time when many scientists and students are taking advantage of enforced isolation at home to learn new skills, ETSF scientists* present our pick of online tutorials (and related resources) in electronic structure and theoretical spectroscopy. We will periodically update the curated list and provide new suggestions.

If you have questions about getting started in any of these areas, we invite you to join members of the ETSF for an online question-and-answer webinar, Monday April 20th at 10:00 AM Central European Time. Please complete our short Google Form to receive a link to our next session by e-mail.

Enjoy, stay safe, and keep in touch!


Online Tutorials in band structure calculations for beginners, both theory and software:

These tutorials presume you have a background at undergraduate/master level in Solid State Physics, Electromagnetism, and Quantum Mechanics.

We are producing an ETSF MOOC on Density Functional Theory, which will be public in May 2020 on Coursera. Stay tuned!

Online Tutorials in theoretical spectroscopy (once you have some knowledge of density functional theory):


The software tutorials presume you have some knowledge of how to run software in linux. If not, take “Shell for novices” from the Software Carpentry Foundation: 

In order to run the tutorials without the hassle of installing the codes, we have customized a virtual machine (5.5Gb, we are looking at lighter alternatives) - many thanks to the QuantumMobile team! 

To use the virtual machine:

  1. Install VirtualBox on your laptop
  2. Download the virtual machine ova file, load it in VirtualBox (to do this go to File->Import Appliance), and run it. [We have tested successfully the VM on virtualbox v.6; previous versions might not work].

You should now have a working Linux environment with all the above codes installed.

Each of these codes runs a forum with FAQ, hints, and helpful teams for specific questions (abinit forum, yambo forum)

An other possibility to get all Material Science Software installed is to dowload the MateriApps Linux distribution: MateriApp Live

* Silvana Botti, Letizia Chiodo, Rex Godby, Myrta Grüning, Giovanni Onida, Maurizia Palummo, Lucia Reining, Gian-Marco Rignanese, Francesco Sottile, Daniele Varsano, Matthieu Verstraete, Zeila Zanolli