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Coupling Molecular Dynamics and Continua with Weak Constraints

: Fackeldey, Konstantin; Krause, Dorian; Krause, Rolf; Lenzen, Christoph

Preprint (PDF; )

Multiscale modeling & simulation 9 (2011), Nr.4, S.1459–1494
ISSN: 1540-3459
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer SCAI ()

One of the most challenging problems in dynamic concurrent multiscale simulations is the reflectionless transfer of physical quantities between the different scales. In particular, when coupling molecular dynamics and finite element discretizations in solid body mechanics, often spurious wave reflections are introduced by the applied coupling technique. The reflected waves are typically of high frequency and are arguably of little importance in the domain where the finite element discretization drives the simulation. In this work, we provide an analysis of this phenomenon. Based on the gained insight, we derive a new coupling approach, which neatly separates high and low frequency waves. Whereas low frequency waves are permitted to bridge the scales, high frequency waves can be removed by applying damping techniques without affecting the coupled share of the solution. As a consequence, our new method almost completely eliminates unphysical wave reflections and deals in a consistent way with waves of arbitrary frequencies. The separation of wavelengths is achieved by employing a discrete L2-projection, which acts as a low pass filter. Our coupling constraints enforce matching in the range of this projection. With respect to the numerical realization, this approach has the advantage of a small number of constraints, which is computationally efficient. Numerical results in one and two dimensions confirm our theoretical findings and illustrate the performance of our new weak coupling approach.