Prof. Ellad B. Tadmor and Prof. Ryan S. Elliott at the University of Minnesota, together with Prof. James P. Sethna at Cornell University, have been awarded a four year, $2 million, grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create a tool that will equip scientists involved in atomistic simulations of materials with information that is aimed to ultimately revolutionize their research. In addition to the PIs, the project includes close collaboration with Prof. Ronald E. Miller (Carleton University, Canada), Dr. Chandler A. Becker (NIST) and other key players at national labs, industry and other universities in the U.S. and abroad.

The group is chartered to create the Knowledge-base of Interatomic Models (KIM), an "interactive, self-extending, database of interatomic models, self-contained simulation codes that test the predictions of these models, and reference data." The project also involves the development of quantitative measures for the transferability of interatomic potentials as well as the establishment of standards for the field in collaboration with NIST. This includes the development of an Application Programming Interface (API) for atomistic simulations that will enable any interatomic model to work with any simulation code. The KIM project is part of the NSF's Cyber-enabled Discovery and Innovation (CDI) program.

From the NSF website:

“This project aims to answer the question: When and to what extent can we believe the results of atomistic simulations of materials? The project's objectives are of central concern to an unusually large cross-section of the industrial and scientific communities who are interested in understanding materials from their basic building blocks; this includes physicists, materials scientists, chemists, and engineers from academia, government, and industry…”

(for more from the NSF website, click here).

For more information on the project, see About KIM.