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The present paper clarifies a number of issues concerning the general problem of constructing improved short time quantum mechanical propagators. Cumulant methods are shown to be a particularly convenient tool for this task. Numerical results comparing methods based on partial averaging and on gradient approaches are presented for simple model problems and for many particle quantum fluids.

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© 1989 American Institute of Physics.This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Journal of Chemical Physics and may be found at