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An enhanced version of the heat exchange algorithm with excellent energy conservation properties
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We propose a new algorithm for non-equilibrium molecular dynamics simulations of thermal gradients. The algorithm is an extension of the heat exchange algorithm developed by Hafskjold et al. [Mol. Phys. 80, 1389 (1993); 81, 251 (1994)], in which a certain amount of heat is added to one region and removed from another by rescaling velocities appropriately. Since the amount of added and removed heat is the same and the dynamics between velocity rescaling steps is Hamiltonian, the heat exchange algorithm is expected to conserve the energy. However, it has been reported previously that the original version of the heat exchange algorithm exhibits a pronounced drift in the total energy, the exact cause of which remained hitherto unclear. Here, we show that the energy drift is due to the truncation error arising from the operator splitting and suggest an additional coordinate integration step as a remedy. The new algorithm retains all the advantages of the original one whilst exhibiting excellent energy conservation as illustrated for a Lennard-Jones liquid and SPC/E water.
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