Finite temperature string method for the study of rare events

Weinan E, Weiqing Ren, Eric Vanden-Eijnden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

364 Scopus citations


A method is presented for the study of rare events such as conformational changes arising in activated processes whose reaction coordinate is not known beforehand and for which the assumptions of transition state theory are invalid. The method samples the energy landscape adaptively and determines the isoprobability surfaces for the transition: by definition the trajectories initiated anywhere on one of these surfaces has equal probability to reach first one metastable set rather than the other. Upon weighting these surfaces by the equilibrium probability distribution, one obtains an effective transition pathway, i.e., a tube in configuration space inside which conformational changes occur with high probability, and the associated rate. The method is first validated on a simple two-dimensional example; then it is applied to a model of solid - solid transformation of a condensed system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6688-6693
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 14 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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