Computer Alchemy Using Virtual Reality
Computational Condensed Matter Physics and Material Science is a rapidly growing field, fueled in part by the advent of computer alchemy. As computers have become more powerful and algorithms more robust, this practical research tool models molecularly dynamic systems in virtual reality - notably, atomistic material simulations up to several million particles.
Especially suitable for discussing simulation results with experimental collaborators, visualization is also essential for teaching quantum mechanics and condensed matter physics, since most effects on the atomic scale cannot be demonstrated in the usual way.
Current work at Technion involves atomic-level modeling of diamond and aluminium/alumina interfaces. Computational physics and experimental research faculty are collaborating to produce the 3D computer visualization models. High-bandwidth networks are used to transfer the visualizations, and developing protocols for interactive conferencing and discussion.