Simulating sticky particles: A Monte Carlo method to sample a stratification

Miranda Holmes-Cerfon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many problems in materials science and biology involve particles interacting with strong, short-ranged bonds that can break and form on experimental timescales. Treating such bonds as constraints can significantly speed up sampling their equilibrium distribution, and there are several methods to sample probability distributions subject to fixed constraints. We introduce a Monte Carlo method to handle the case when constraints can break and form. More generally, the method samples a probability distribution on a stratification: a collection of manifolds of different dimensions, where the lower-dimensional manifolds lie on the boundaries of the higher-dimensional manifolds. We show several applications of the method in polymer physics, self-assembly of colloids, and volume calculation in high dimensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number164112
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - Oct 28 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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