So what does a computer simulation technique have in common with the world famous

Monte Carlo simulation methods typically use (pseudo) random number generators to generate the element of chance. Similar techniques are also used in electronic games of chance such as draw poker machines and one armed bandits.

The type of Monte Carlo simulation we will be discussing here is the type used to obtain material properties given an inter-atomic potential (such as the ubiquitous Lennard- Jones 6-12 potential). The properties that are calculable are those which can be expressed statistical mechanically as a weighted average over the configuration space of an ensemble of systems. The specific Monte Carlo method can be generalized to study any material for which a set of potential functions are available.

The following discussion is aimed at students with an elementary knowledge of statistical mechanics and some knowledge of at least one programming language. No specific knowledge of any specific programming language is expected.

Last updated December 10, 1997