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The Art of Molecular Dynamics Simulation, Second Edition by D. C. Rapaport

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6

Alternative ensembles

6.1 Introduction

The equations of motion used in MD are based on Newtonian mechanics; in this way MD mimics nature. If one adopts the purely mechanical point of view there is little more to be said, but if a broader perspective is permitted and MD is regarded as a tool for generating equilibrium states satisfying certain specified requirements, then it is possible to modify the dynamics and address a broader range of problems. But at the outset it must be emphasized that no physical meaning is attributed to the actual dynamics, and the approach is merely one of computational convenience for generating particular equilibrium thermodynamic states, although – and this is not an attempt to extract any such meaning – the deviations ...

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