Grand molecular dynamics: A method for open systems

Tahir çaĝin, B. Montgomery Pettitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


We present a new molecular dynamics method for studying the dynamics of open systems. The method couples a classical system to a chemical potential reservior. In the formulation, following the extended system dynamics approach, we introduce a variable, v to represent the coupling to the chemical potential reservoir. The new variable governs the dynamics of the variation of number of particles in the system. The number of particles is determined by taking the integer part of v. The fractional part of the new variable is used to scale the potential energy and the kinetic energy of an additional particle; i.e., we introduce a fractional particle. We give the ansatz Lagrangians and equations of motion for both the isothermal and the adiabatic forms of grand molecular dynamics. The averages calculated over the trajectories generated by these equations of motion represent the classical grand canonical ensemble (pVT) and the constant chemical potential adiabatic ensemble (μVL) averages, respectively. The microcanonical phase space densities of the adiabatic and isothermal forms the molecular dynamics method are shown to be equivalent to adiabatic constant chemical potential ensemble, and grand canonical ensemble partition functions. We also discuss the extension to multi-component systems, molecular fluids, ionic solutions and the problems and solutions associated with the implementation of the method. The statistical expressions for thermodynamic functions such as specific heat; adiabatic bulk modulus, Gröneissen parameter and number fluctuations are derived. These expressions are used to analyse trajectories of constant chemical potential systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-26
Number of pages22
JournalMolecular Simulation
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Mar 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Molecular dynamics
  • chemical potential
  • extended system dynamics
  • number fluctuations
  • open systems
  • thermodynamic response functions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Information Systems
  • General Materials Science
  • Modeling and Simulation


Dive into the research topics of 'Grand molecular dynamics: A method for open systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this