Exploring fluctuations and phase equilibria in fluid mixtures via Monte Carlo simulation Monte Carlo simulation provides a powerful tool for understanding and exploring thermodynamic phase equilibria in many-particle interacting systems. Among the most physically intuitive simulation methods is Gibbs ensemble Monte Carlo (GEMC), which allows direct computation of phase coexistence curves of model fluids by assigning each phase to its own simulation cell. When one or both of the phases can be modelled virtually via an analytic free energy function [Mehta and Kofke, Mol. Phys. 79,39 (1993)], the GEMC method takes on new pedagogical significance as an efficient means of analysing fluctuations and illuminating the statistical foundation of phase behaviour in finite systems. Here we extend this virtual GEMC method to binary fluid mixtures and demonstrate its implementation and instructional value with two applications: (1) a lattice model of simple mixtures and polymer blends and (2) a free-volume model of a complex mixture of colloids and polymers. We present algorithms for performing Monte Carlo trial moves in the virtual Gibbs ensemble, validate the method by computing fluid demixing phase diagrams, and analyse the dependence of fluctuations on system size. Our open-source simulation programs, coded in the platform-independent Java language, are suitable for use in classroom, tutorial, or computational laboratory settings.
References in zbMATH (referenced in 1 article , 1 standard article )
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- Denton, Alan R.; Schmidt, Michael P.: Exploring fluctuations and phase equilibria in fluid mixtures via Monte Carlo simulation (2013)