The interfacial tension is an important physical quantity of many phenomena, such as the nucleation of water droplets in the atmosphere, the crystallization of proteins from solutions, and the growth and stability of nanocrystals. It occurs at the interface between different phases of a material, i.e., on the transition between solid, liquid, and gaseous phases. However, the interfacial tension is difficult to measure experimentally, and reliable analytical theories about it are also lacking. Thus it is of particular importance to develop computer simulation techniques for this phenomenon.
Using an innovative simulation method, Fabian Schmitz, Dr. Peter Virnau, and Professor Kurt Binder of the Condensed Matter Theory group at JGU's Institute of Physics have now succeeded in gaining a better understanding of the nature of finite-size corrections in the determination of interfacial tension. This work, achieved only after several million CPU hours on the Mainz supercomputer MOGON, will in the future help researchers to analyze interfacial tension with the highest precision by means of simulations. The results were published in the leading journalPhysical Review Letters.
High-performance computing becomes increasingly important at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. The planned new supercomputer MOGON II is expected to replace the current system in the first quarter of 2016. It is expected that MOGON II will be among the top 100 fastest high-performance computers worldwide.
The paper "Determination of the Origin and Magnitude of Logarithmic Finite-Size Effects on Interfacial Tension: Role of Interfacial Fluctuations and Domain Breathing", written by Fabian Schmitz, Peter Virnau, and Kurt Binder appeared inPhysical Review Letterson 26 March 2014 - DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.125701.