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Outreach Activities

Our group's interactive molecular dynamics simulation, complete with a 3D monitor and a force-feedback joystick, let people physically feel how monomers and polymers move. Because they are large molecules, polymers are harder to move than small monomers. There are also sets of beads to demonstrate this concept as well as ethanol, polyethylene glycol (PEG) of molecular weight 400 which is more viscous (as one would expect since it has a similar chemistry but is a larger molecule), and an even higher molecular weight sample of PEG. This shows that even though we can't see molecules in real life, we can guess certain properties about them by observing materials, and we can "see" them directly in simulations! 

The simulation works by connecting the LAMMPS simulation engine, the open-source visualization software VMD, and a haptic device as discussed here https://sites.google.com/site/akohlmey/software/vrpn-icms. The first version of the content of this project was produced by Josh Fouasnon, as advised by Jon Brown, for his main summer project. Further updates have been made by Lisa Hall, Jon Brown, Mitchell Wendt, Carol Oaks, and Kevin Shen.

We thank the Center for Emergent Materials (CEM) and Slider professorship for initial partial funding, and the NSF CAREER award for ongoing funding for this project! 

Listed below are some of the events our group has attended with our interactive setup!