Integrating frequency-dependent data with scuff-integrate

Many application codes in the scuff-em suite compute physical quantities defined by definite integrals over real or imaginary frequencies, with the numerical value of the integrand at each point obtained by solving individual scuff-em scattering problems at that frequency. For example,

  • scuff-cas3d and scuff-caspol compute zero-temperature Casimir quantities by integrating contributions from imaginary frequencies :

Here is a zero-temperature Casimir energy/force/torque (scuff-cas3d) or Casimir-Polder potential (scuff-caspol) and is the spectral density of contributions to from fluctuations at imaginary frequency , which may be obtained by solving scuff-em scattering calculations at imaginary frequency .

  • scuff-neq computes the total rate of energy or momentum transfer from a source body to a destination body by integrating contributions from real frequencies :

Here is the contribution of body to quantity (a heat-transfer rate, force, or torque) for body , is the Bose-Einstein statistical factor, and are the temperatures of the source body and the environment, and is a "generalized flux" quantity that may be computed by solving scuff-em scattering calculations at frequency .

The integrals over and are evaluated by numerical cubature---that is, as weighted sums of integrand samples. In a perfect world, it would be possible for scuff-em application codes to choose appropriate integration strategies automatically, hiding these details from the user and reporting just the frequency-integrated quantities . This is in fact the strategy that was adopted in early incarnations of the scuff-em codes.

In the real world, however, the behavior of integrand functions like and varies widely from problem to problem, depending on factors such as the shapes and materials of bodies in the scattering geometry and the quantity being computed. For this reason, it's hard for scuff-em to make intelligent automatic choices of integration strategies, and attempts to do so without user input may result in misleading or even flat-out incorrect data.

For this reason, the modern approach to frequency integration in scuff-em is to ask users to define a list of frequencies at which to sample the integrand; this list is passed to scuff-em application codes using the --XiFile or --OmegaFile command-line options, and in response the code produces an output file reporting values of the integrand at the specified points. The frequency integral may then be calculated as as post-processing step using the information reported in the frequency-resolved data files, and this is the task for which scuff-integrate exists.

scuff-integrate tutorial walkthrough

Integrating a single function of frequency

The simplest usage of scuff-integrate is to integrate a single function of frequency [where denotes either real or imaginary frequency]. Suppose we have a file called fData in which are tabulated numerical pairs , , where :

x1 f1 
x2 f2 
xN fN 

Then to compute we can just go like this:

% scuff-integrate --datafile fData --freqColumn 1 --dataColumn 2

This will produce a file named fData.Integrated containing a single line of data: the integrated value of .

If the frequency and/or integrand values are printed in different columns of the data file, just adjust the --freqColumn and --dataColumn options accordingly. For example, if the data file looks like this:

<stuff> <stuff> x1 <stuff> <stuff> f1 <stuff> ...
<stuff> <stuff> x2 <stuff> <stuff> f2 <stuff> ...
<stuff> <stuff> xN <stuff> <stuff> fN <stuff> ...

you would use --freqcolumn 3 --datacolumn 6. In this case, the content of the other columns (the <stuff> in the above snippet) is ignored.

Integrating multiple functions of frequency

More generally, frequency-resolved data files produced by scuff-em codes will contain data on multiple functions . (For example, in scuff-cas3d each line of the data file may contain data on both Casimir energy and Casimir force.)

You can integrate all of these at once simply by specifying multiple --dataColumn options. For example, if you have functions and and you have a file named fgData with the format

x1 f1 g1 
x2 f2 g2 
xN fN gN 

then you can say

% scuff-integrate --datafile fgData --freqColumn 1 --dataColumn 2 --datacolumn 3

and the resulting output file fgData.Integrated will report values for both and .

Giving names to data columns

In the legend at the top of the .Integrated output file, the values of the various integrated functions will by default be labeled data 0, data 1, etc. If you want to give more descriptive names, just follow each --dataColumn option with a --dataName option.

For example, if your force and torque integrands are respectively reported on columns 8 and 11 of your data file, say --dataColumn 8 --dataName Force --dataColumn 11 --dataName Torque.

Integrating functions of frequency and other parameters

In many cases we will have functions that depend on various parameters beside frequency. (In scuff-cas3d, for example, we might compute Casimir forces between particles separated by various distances , so the integrand function may be thought of as a function of both distance and frequency.)

For example, suppose your data file is called pxfgData and looks something like

p1 x1 f11 g11
p1 x2 f12 g12
p1 xN f1N g1N
p2 x1 f21 g21
p2 x2 f22 g22
p2 xN f2N g2N
pM xN fMN gMN

where p1, p2, ..., pM denote distinct values of some parameter and fmn,gmn are the numerical integrand values . In this case you can't simply say --freqColumn2 --dataColumn 3 --dataColumn 4, because then data for all parameter values will be mashed all together and integrated as a single function of frequency, yielding nonsense.

Instead, you handle this situation by specifying the additional command-line parameter --tagColumn 1 to tell scuff-integrate to interpret data lines with different values in column 1 as samples of different functions:

% scuff-integrate --datafile pxfgData --tagcolumn 1 --freqColumn 2 --dataColumn 3 --dataColumn 4

In this case, the output file pxfgData.Integrated will report -integrated values of and separately for each value of .

If your integrands depend on multiple parameters , you may specify multiple --tagColumn options to specify the columns in which values of the various parameters live. Then each line of the .Integrated output file will report -integrated values of all functions for a single tuple of parameter values

Integrating scuff-neq data

scuff-integrate incorporates special functionality for handling the particular frequency-resolved data files produced by scuff-neq. In this case, for a geometry containing bodies, each line of the .SIFlux output file is tagged with a data field of the form (where and are integers between 1 and ) to label the contributions of sources in body to the power, force, and/or torque (PFT) on body . (For example, lines for which this field reads 13 give contributions of body 1 to the PFT for body 3). The actual data quantities reported in the .SIFlux file are the generalized fluxes in equation (1) above, and to evaluate the integral here we need to know the temperatures of the environment and of all bodies in the geometry, which enter through the Bose-Einstein factors in (1).

To handle these complications, scuff-integrate supports the following additional command-line options:

  • --sdColumn xx

    Specifies that the indicator field appears on column xx of the data file. (The default is --sdColumn 3, matching the default file format of the .SIFlux files produced by scuff-neq, so for those files this option may be omitted.)


  • --Temperature N T

    If , this sets the temperature of the th object/surface in the geometry to T Kelvin. (Here objects/surfaces are indexed using a 1-based convention; to set the temperature of the first object/surface specified in the .scuffgeo file to room temperature you would say --Temperature 1 300.)

    If , this instead sets the temperature of the environment to T.


  • --TemperatureFile TFile

    Specifies a file containing multiple temperature configurations at which to compute total PFTs. For an -body geometry, each line of TFile should contain space-separated numbers in the same format as the arguments to the --Temperature option, i.e. TEnv T1 ... TN.

    For example, to compute PFTs in a two-body geometry with the temperature of body 1 scanned from 10 to 300 Kelvin, the temperature of body 2 held fixed at room temperature, and the environment temperature fixed at 0, TFile would look like

0 10  300
0 20  300
0 300 300

scuff-integrate Command-Line Reference

Only numerical data columns are counted as columns

There is one potentially confusing aspect of the way scuff-integrate interprets column indices as specified by command-line arguments such as --FreqColumn or DataColumn. This is that scuff-integrate treats non-numerical data columns as white space, and in particular does not include data columns containing text strings when counting column indices.

Thus, for example, if your data file contains frequency and integrand data in the second and third columns, with the first column containing a character string, like this:

DEFAULT 0.1 3.45e-5
DEFAULT 0.2 7.82e-5
DEFAULT 0.3 1.10e-4

then scuff-integrate ignores the DEFAULT column and considers the first column with numerical data to be column 1, so here you would say --freqColumn 1 --dataColumn 2.

In contrast, if your data file looks instead like this:

4.00000 0.1 3.45e-5
4.00000 0.2 7.82e-5
4.00000 0.3 1.10e-4

you would want to say --freqColumn 2 --dataColumn 3.