The quasicontinuum method: Overview, applications and current directions
R. E. Miller and E. B. Tadmor
Journal of Computer-Aided Materials Design, 9, 203–239 (2002).


The Quasicontinuum (QC) Method, originally conceived and developed by
Tadmor, Ortiz and Phillips in 1996, has since seen a great
deal of development and application by a number of researchers. The
idea of the method is a relatively simple one. With the goal of
modeling an atomistic system without explicitly
treating every atom in the problem, the QC provides a framework whereby
degrees of freedom are judiciously eliminated and force/energy
calculations are expedited. This is combined with adaptive model
refinement to ensure that full atomistic detail is retained in regions
of the problem where it is required while continuum assumptions reduce
the computational demand elsewhere. This article provides a review of
the method, from its original motivations and formulation to recent
improvements and developments. A summary of the important mechanics
of materials results that have been obtained using the QC approach is
presented. Finally, several related modeling techniques from the
literature are briefly discussed. As an accompaniment to this paper,
a website designed to serve as a clearinghouse for information on the
QC method has been established at The site includes
information on QC research, links to researchers, downloadable QC code
and documentation.