Evolutionary strategy for inverse charge measurements of dielectric particles

XK Jiang and JY Li and V Lee and HM Jaeger and OG Heinonen and JJ de Pablo, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 148, 234302 (2018).

DOI: 10.1063/1.5027435

We report a computational strategy to obtain the charges of individual dielectric particles from experimental observation of their interactions as a function of time. This strategy uses evolutionary optimization to minimize the difference between trajectories extracted from the experiment and simulated trajectories based on many-particle force fields. The force fields include both Coulombic interactions and dielectric polarization effects that arise due to particle-particle charge mismatch and particle-environment dielectric contrast. The strategy was applied to systems of free falling charged granular particles in a vacuum, where electrostatic interactions are the only driving forces that influence the particles' motion. We show that when the particles' initial positions and velocities are known, the optimizer requires only an initial and final particle configuration of a short trajectory in order to accurately infer the particles' charges; when the initial velocities are unknown and only the initial positions are given, the optimizer can learn from multiple frames along the trajectory to determine the particles' initial velocities and charges. While the results presented here offer a proof-of-concept demonstration of the proposed ideas, the proposed strategy could be extended to more complex systems of electrostatically charged granular matter.

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