An adiabatic molecular dynamics method for the calculation of free energy profiles

Lula Rosso, Mark E. Tuckerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new molecular dynamics method for calculating free energy profiles for rare events is presented. The new method is based on the creation of an adiabatic separation between the reaction co-ordinate subspace and the remaining degrees of freedom within a molecular dynamics run. This is achieved by associating with the reaction coordinate(s) a high temperature and large mass, thereby allowing the activated process to occur while permitting the remaining degrees of freedom to respond adiabatically. In this limit, by applying a formal multiple time scale Liouville operator factorization, it can be rigorously shown that the free energy profiles are obtained directly from the probability distribution of the reaction coordinate subspace and, therefore, require no postprocessing of the output data. The new method is applied to a variety of model problems and its performance tested against free energy calculations using the "bluemoon ensemble" approach. The comparison shows that free energy profiles can be calculated with greater ease and efficiency using the new method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-112
Number of pages22
JournalMolecular Simulation
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


  • AFED
  • Energy profiles
  • Harmonic oscillator
  • Isomerization
  • Molecular dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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