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Center for Scientific Computation and Mathematical Modeling

Research Activities > Programs > Nonequilibrium Interface Dynamics

Nonequilibrium Interface Dynamics:
Theory and Simulation from Atomistic to Continuum Scales

Monday October 13 - Friday October 31, 2003

CSIC Building (#406), Seminar Room 4122.
Directions: www.cscamm.umd.edu/directions

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED. Participants were requested to pre-register at //www.cscamm.umd.edu/programs/nid03/rsvp.htm and responses to approved applicants were emailed on September 23rd.

Due to the large number of applications, we regret that RSVP is now closed to new applicants.

Program Overview
Week 1
10/13 - 10/17:
[Invited Speakers][Schedule]
Week 2
10/20 - 10/24:
Workshop on Fundamental Physical Issues in Nonequilibrium Interface Dynamics
[Objectives] [Focal Points] [Invited Participants][Schedule]
Week 3
10/27 - 10/31:
Workshop on Hierarchical Modeling and Multiscale Simulation of Materials Interfaces
[Objectives] [Focal Points] [Invited Participants][Schedule]

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Organizing Committee Scientific Content Acknowledgment
Funding Information for Participants Contact
Poster [PDF] Photos Suggested Activities






Theodore L. Einstein University of Maryland
Bo Li University of Maryland
Jian-Guo Liu University of Maryland
Eitan Tadmor University of Maryland
James A. Warren NIST
John D. Weeks University of Maryland
Ellen D. Williams University of Maryland

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The challenge of scientific understanding of nonequilibrium interface dynamics has become increasingly important. Technologically, for instance, nanoscale assemblies with highly ordered nanoscale building blocks such as quantum dots and quantum wires have shown remarkable optical, electronic, magnetic, and mechanical properties that have a wide range of applications. However, such nanoscale building blocks must be fabricated on a surface or through an interface, and these processes are usually far from equilibrium. Scientifically, as sizes decrease, interfacial properties become essential and even dominant. Furthermore, theories for surfaces and interfaces of bulk materials must be reworked for interfaces in nanoscale systems.

Dynamical interfacial properties, such as fluctuations, nucleation and aggregation, and mass and charge transport, are often very complex. There exists no single theory or model that can predict all such properties. Theories and simulation tools have to be developed to treat such properties distinguished by multiple length and time scales. A considerable effort has been made in analytical studies using approaches ranging from ab initio calculations and kinetic Monte Carlo simulations to coarse-grained continuum modeling. The gap between these descriptions must be bridged.

The past few years have witnessed the important role of applied mathematics in the research on interface dynamics. Contributions from applied mathematics include rigorous derivation of analytical models, multiscale analysis, model reduction, the design of numerical techniques for very large linear systems, optimization techniques, etc. It is clear that this trend will continue. Precise mathematical concepts, quantitative mathematical theories, and innovative simulation techniques should be developed for interfacial properties in complex systems.

This program will bring together leading physicists, materials scientists, computational scientists, and applied mathematicians to:

  • review the recent development in the research on materials surfaces and interfaces, from experimental highlights to theory to simulation;
  • identify critical scientific issues in the understanding of the fundamental principles and basic mechanisms of interface dynamics in systems far from equilibrium, particularly those that are characterized by fluctuation and multiscale evolution;
  • accelerate the interaction of applied mathematics with physics and materials science, and promote highly interdisciplinary research on new materials interface problems with emerging applications;
  • develop and foster international collaborations; and
  • initiate the training of research task force for the grand challenge in nanoscience.

This three-week program will consist of three one-week long workshops:

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TUTORIALS (10/13 - 10/17)

Invited Speakers
(Department of Physics, University of Maryland)
(1) Distribution of Step Spacings on Misoriented Surfaces: Fermions in 1D, From Simple Models to Random Matrix Theory
(2) Fluctuations of Steps and Island Edges: Langevin Analysis Confronts Experimental and Numerical Data
(Department of Mathematics and IPST, University of Maryland)
(1) Sharp and Diffuse Models of Interface Dynamics
(2) Diffusion-driven Coarsening: Lifshitz-Slyozov-Wagner Models of Ostwald Ripening and Rigorous Upper Bounds
(3) Mean-field Agglomeration Models, Stochastic Effects: Smoluchowski Ripening and Burgers Turbulence
(Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)
"Structure and Function from First Principles"
(Center for Computing Sciences)
(1) Fast Methods for Sampling from a Dynamic pdf. Part I: Fast Methods, Some Up-Front Cost.
(2) Fast Methods for Sampling from a Dynamic pdf. Part II: Very Fast Methods, Additional Up-Front Cost.
(Center for Theoretical and Computational Materials Science (CTCMS), NIST )
(1) Phase Field Modeling of Solidification: An Introduction
(2) Extending Phase Field Models of Solidification to Polycrystals
(Department of Physics and IPST, University of Maryland)
(1) Equilibrium Morphology and Morphological Transitions
(2) Equilibrium Fluctuations and Evolution of Morphology

Click Here for Tutorials Schedule

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WORKSHOP 1: Fundamental Physical Issues in Nonequilibrium Interface Dynamics (10/20 - 10/24)


This workshop will focus on basic properties of growing surface and evolving interface in nonequilibrium systems, in particular nanoscale systems. Participants from statistical mechanics, surface physics, materials science, and applied mathematics communities will discuss new issues in the nonequilibrium interface dynamics and the possible approaches to attack the new problems.

Focal Points
  • thermal fluctuation
  • nonlinear interfacial instabilities
  • nucleation, kinetic roughening, and coarsening
  • growth scaling laws
  • surface reconstruction
  • impurities
  • thin film properties under applied fields
  • surface magnetism
  • spin transport across interfaces
  • stress effect
  • nanoscale building blocks and nanoscale pattern formation
  • stochastic modeling and analysis
  • other related topics

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Invited Participants



University of Toledo
University of Maryland
Ames Lab & Iowa State University
Lawrence Livermore National Lab
Northeastern University
New York University
Grenoble, France
University of Maryland
Clermont-Ferrand, France
Florence, Italy
Kansas State University
Brown University
University of Michigan
Princeton University
IBM Watson Research Center
Nagoya, Japan
University of Maryland
University of Maryland
Virginia Tech

Click Here for Workshop 1 Schedule

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WORKSHOP 2: Hierarchical Modeling and Multiscale Simulation of Materials Interfaces (10/27 - 10/31)


This workshop will continue and extend the discussion in Workshop 1 but with a much broader scope. It will concentrate more on mathematical and computational aspects of the underlying research. Participants will explore general topics in condensed matter physics, statistical mechanics, materials science, and applied mathematics related to the interface dynamics in nonequilibrium systems. Such topics include the electron charge density, spintronics, grain boundary motion, etc. Emphasis will be placed on the construction of various kinds of hierarchical models and multiscale algorithms as well as the development of innovative approaches to bridge the gap in the description with different scales.

Focal Points
  • stress-driven interface dynamics
  • noise-driven interface dynamics
  • grain boundary evolution
  • plate and shell theories for nanostructures
  • dislocations
  • martensitic, ferromagnetic, and ferroelectric interfaces
  • singularities and singular limits
  • density functional theory calculations
  • molecular dynamics simulations
  • kinetic Monte Carlo simulations
  • finite element, finite difference, and spectral methods
  • accelerated multiscale algorithms
  • other related topics

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Invited Participants



Princeton University
Oakland University
Princeton University
Budapest, Hungary
University of Minnesota
Princeton University
Carnegie Mellon University
University of Georgia
UC Irvine
University of Minnesota
University of Maryland
Naval Research Lab
John Hopkins University
University of Maryland
Carnegie Mellon University
New York University
Northwestern University
Argonne National Lab
Oak Ridge National Lab

Click Here for Workshop 2 Schedule

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Partial funding is provided by the NIST Center for Theoretical and Computational Materials Science (CTCMS) and by the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at the University of Maryland. Additional support is provided by the Institute for Physical Science & Technology (IPST) and by the Department of Mathematics at the University of Maryland.


A limited amount of funding for participants at all levels is available, especially for researchers in the early stages of their career who want to attend the full program.

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CSCAMM Visitor Guide: www.cscamm.umd.edu/visitors


Center for Scientific Computation And Mathematical Modeling (CSCAMM)
Computer Science Instructional Center (Building #406)
University of Maryland, College Park
College Park, MD 20742-3289


Web: //www.cscamm.umd.edu/programs/nid03


NID03 Poster [PDF]


Tutorial Photos

Workshop 1 Photos

Workshop 2 Photos


Click Here for a list of suggested activities at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

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