- Coupling of different length scales in molecular dynamics simulations (2006)
- The topic of this thesis is the coupling of an atomistic and a coarse scale region in molecular dynamics simulations with the focus on the reflection of waves at the interface between the two scales and the velocity of waves in the coarse scale region for a non-equilibrium process. First, two models from the literature for such a coupling, the concurrent coupling of length scales and the bridging scales method are investigated for a one dimensional system with harmonic interaction. It turns out that the concurrent coupling of length scales method leads to the reflection of fine scale waves at the interface, while the bridging scales method gives an approximated system that is not energy conserving. The velocity of waves in the coarse scale region is in both models not correct. To circumvent this problems, we present a coupling based on the displacement splitting of the bridging scales method together with choosing appropriate variables in orthogonal subspaces. This coupling allows the derivation of evolution equations of fine and coarse scale degrees of freedom together with a reflectionless boundary condition at the interface directly from the Lagrangian of the system. This leads to an energy conserving approximated system with a clear separation between modeling errors an errors due to the numerical solution. Possible approximations in the Lagrangian and the numerical computation of the memory integral and other numerical errors are discussed. We further present a method to choose the interpolation from coarse to atomistic scale in such a way, that the fine scale degrees of freedom in the coarse scale region can be neglected. The interpolation weights are computed by comparing the dispersion relations of the coarse scale equations and the fully atomistic system. With this new interpolation weights, the number of degrees of freedom can be drastically reduced without creating an error in the velocity of the waves in the coarse scale region. We give an alternative derivation of the new coupling with the Mori-Zwanzig projection operator formalism, and explain how the method can be extended to non-zero temperature simulations. For the comparison of the results of the approximated with the fully atomistic system, we use a local stress tensor and the energy in the atomistic region. Examples for the numerical solution of the approximated system for harmonic potentials are given in one and two dimensions.