Coarse-grained (CG) models provide a computationally efficient method for rapidly investigating the long time- and length-scale processes that play a critical role in many important biological and soft matter processes. Recently, Izvekov and Voth introduced a new multiscale coarse-graining (MS-CG) method [J. Phys. Chem. B 109, 2469 (2005); J. Chem. Phys. 123, 134105 (2005)] for determining the effective interactions between CG sites using information from simulations of atomically detailed models. The present work develops a formal statistical mechanical framework for the MS-CG method and demonstrates that the variational principle underlying the method may, in principle, be employed to determine the many-body potential of mean force (PMF) that governs the equilibrium distribution of positions of the CG sites for the MS-CG models. A CG model that employs such a PMF as a "potential energy function" will generate an equilibrium probability distribution of CG sites that is consistent with the atomically detailed model from which the PMF is derived. Consequently, the MS-CG method provides a formal multiscale bridge rigorously connecting the equilibrium ensembles generated with atomistic and CG models. The variational principle also suggests a class of practical algorithms for calculating approximations to this many-body PMF that are optimal. These algorithms use computer simulation data from the atomically detailed model. Finally, important generalizations of the MS-CG method are introduced for treating systems with rigid intramolecular constraints and for developing CG models whose equilibrium momentum distribution is consistent with that of an atomically detailed model.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry