i-PI: A Python interface for ab initio path integral molecular dynamics simulations
Recent developments in path integral methodology have significantly reduced the computational expense of including quantum mechanical effects in the nuclear motion in ab initio molecular dynamics simulations. However, the implementation of these developments requires a considerable programming effort, which has hindered their adoption. Here we describe i-PI, an interface written in Python that has been designed to minimise the effort required to bring state-of-the-art path integral techniques to an electronic structure program. While it is best suited to first principles calculations and path integral molecular dynamics, i-PI can also be used to perform classical molecular dynamics simulations, and can just as easily be interfaced with an empirical forcefield code. To give just one example of the many potential applications of the interface,weuse it in conjunction with the CP2K electronic structure package to showcase the importance of nuclear quantum effects in high-pressure water.