Coarse-grained modeling of molecular fluids is often based on nonspherical convex rigid bodies like ellipsoids orspherocylinders representing rodlike or platelike molecules or groups of atoms, with site-site interaction potentials depending both on the distance among the particles and the relative orientation. In this category of potentials, the Gay-Berne family has been studied most extensively. However, conventional molecular graphics programs are not designed to visualize such objects. Usually the basic units are atoms displayed as spheres or as vertices in a graph. Atomic aggregates can be highlighted through an increasing amount of stylized representations, e.g., Richardson ribbon diagrams for the secondary structure of proteins, Connolly molecular surfaces, density maps, etc., but ellipsoids and spherocylinders are generally missing, especially as elementary simulation units. We fill this gap providing and discussing a customized OpenGL-based program for the interactive, rendered representation of large ensembles of convex bodies, useful especially in liquid crystal research. We pay particular attention to the performance issues for typical system sizes in this field. The code is distributed as open source. © 2008 American Chemical Society
Adrian T Gabriel, Timm Meyer, Guido Germano
Journal of chemical theory and computation, (4)3, 468–476.
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