Bridging fluctuating hydrodynamics and molecular dynamics simulations of fluids

Nikolaos K. Voulgarakis, Jhih-Wei Chu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


A new multiscale coarse-graining (CG) methodology is developed to bridge molecular and hydrodynamic models of a fluid. The hydrodynamic representation considered in this work is based on the equations of fluctuating hydrodynamics (FH). The essence of this method is a mapping from the position and velocity vectors of a snapshot of a molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to the field variables on Eulerian cells of a hydrodynamic representation. By explicit consideration of the effective lengthscale dmol that characterizes the volume of a molecule, the computed density fluctuations from MD via our mapping procedure have volume dependence that corresponds to a grand canonical ensemble of a cold liquid even when a small cell length (5-10 Å) is used in a hydrodynamic representation. For TIP3P water at 300 K and 1 atm, dmol is found to be 2.4 Å, corresponding to the excluded radius of a water molecule as revealed by its center-of-mass radial distribution function. By matching the density fluctuations and autocorrelation functions of momentum fields computed from solving the FH equations with those computed from MD simulation, the sound velocity and shear and bulk viscosities of a CG hydrodynamic model can be determined directly from MD. Furthermore, a novel staggered discretization scheme is developed for solving the FH equations of an isothermal compressive fluid in a three dimensional space with a central difference method. This scheme demonstrates high accuracy in satisfying the fluctuation-dissipation theorem. Since the causative relationship between field variables and fluxes is captured, we demonstrate that the staggered discretization scheme also predicts correct physical behaviors in simulating transient fluid flows. The techniques presented in this work may also be employed to design multiscale strategies for modeling complex fluids and macromolecules in solution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number134111
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number13
StatePublished - 20 Apr 2009

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Bridging fluctuating hydrodynamics and molecular dynamics simulations of fluids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this