Field-theoretic methods have been an important component of theoretical polymer science for over 40 years. Only in the past decade, however, has it become clear that polymer field theories can be a broad platform for numerical simulations of a wide range of meso-structured polymer solutions, melts, alloys, and composites. These "field-theoretic simulations" are advantaged over conventional particle-based computer simulations in a variety of situations, especially dense systems of high molecular weight and polymers subject to long-ranged interactions, such as polyelectrolytes. They are also well-suited for multi-scale simulations spanning length scales from nanometers to microns.
This talk will discuss the construction of field theory models, advanced numerical methods for stochastic sampling of field theories, alternative ensembles, and techniques for free energy evaluation. A numerical renormalization group approach to multi-scale simulations will also be described. The talk will conclude with a few examples of applications to soft material design problems.
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