Our project will be aimed at studying the behavior of a sample of N molecules when they are heated by a pulsed laser source. For this project, we will be using Newton’s second law, statistical mechanics, and the information on molecular dynamics simulations in Chapter 9 of Giordano and Nakanishi’s Computational Physics.
In our project we will tackle molecular heating simulations at different levels of difficulty. We will start simply by simulating gas molecules in a box and move on to more complex topics that involve heating and then finally pulsed heating of the gases. From these simulations we will study how long it will take for the gas particles to come to thermal equilibrium and how the speed distributions of the gas particles look when the system is in equilibrium.
After gases, we will try to create similar simulations to study the properties of crystalline solids. If we have time, we will also study the Fermi-Pasta-Ulam problem.
We decided upon this project as this is closely related to what we are studying in our thermal physics class right now and what we studied in classical mechanics in the past. Both branches of science are interesting and very challenging and we hope that undertaking this project will give us a better understanding of the concepts we have learnt so far.