DynamO: a free O(N) general event-driven molecular dynamics simulator

M. N. Bannerman, R. Sargant, L. Lue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Citations (Scopus)


Molecular dynamics algorithms for systems of particles interacting through discrete or "hard" potentials are fundamentally different to the methods for continuous or "soft" potential systems. Although many software packages have been developed for continuous potential systems, software for discrete potential systems based on event-driven algorithms are relatively scarce and specialized. We present DynamO, a general event-driven simulation package, which displays the optimal O(N) asymptotic scaling of the computational cost with the number of particles N, rather than the O(N log N) scaling found in most standard algorithms. DynamO provides reference implementations of the best available event-driven algorithms. These techniques allow the rapid simulation of both complex and large (>10(6) particles) systems for long times. The performance of the program is bench-marked for elastic hard sphere systems, homogeneous cooling and sheared inelastic hard spheres, and equilibrium Lennard-Jones fluids. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3329-3338
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Computational Chemistry
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2011


  • molecular dynamics
  • event-driven simulation
  • discontinuous potentials
  • hard spheres
  • square-well potential
  • force field
  • computer simulation
  • gases


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