Significant advances have been made towards understanding the properties of materials through theoretical approaches. These approaches are based either on first-principles quantum mechanical formulations or semi-empirical formulations, and have benefitted from increases in computational power. The advent of parallel computing has propelled the theoretical approaches to a new level of realism in modelling physical systems of interest. The theoretical methods and simulation techniques that are cur- rently under development are certain to become powerful tools in understanding, exploring and predicting the properties of existing and novel materials. This book discusses critically current developments in computations and simulational approaches specifically aimed at addressing real materials problems, with an emphasis on parallel computing and shows the most successful applications of computational and simulational work to date. Topics include: advances in computational methods; parallel algorithms and applications; fracture, brittle/ductile behavior and large-scale defects; thermodynamic stability of materials; surfaces and interfaces of materials; and complex materials simulations.
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