2.3.9. Scatter/gather operations

data = lmp.gather_atoms(name,type,count)  # return per-atom property of all atoms gathered into data, ordered by atom ID
                                          # name = "x", "charge", "type", etc
data = lmp.gather_atoms_concat(name,type,count)  # ditto, but concatenated atom values from each proc (unordered)
data = lmp.gather_atoms_subset(name,type,count,ndata,ids)  # ditto, but for subset of Ndata atoms with IDs

lmp.scatter_atoms(name,type,count,data)   # scatter per-atom property to all atoms from data, ordered by atom ID
                                          # name = "x", "charge", "type", etc
                                          # count = # of per-atom values, 1 or 3, etc

lmp.scatter_atoms_subset(name,type,count,ndata,ids,data)  # ditto, but for subset of Ndata atoms with IDs

The gather methods collect peratom info of the requested type (atom coords, atom types, forces, etc) from all processors, and returns the same vector of values to each calling processor. The scatter functions do the inverse. They distribute a vector of peratom values, passed by all calling processors, to individual atoms, which may be owned by different processors.

Note that the data returned by the gather methods, e.g. gather_atoms(“x”), is different from the data structure returned by extract_atom(“x”) in four ways. (1) Gather_atoms() returns a vector which you index as x[i]; extract_atom() returns an array which you index as x[i][j]. (2) Gather_atoms() orders the atoms by atom ID while extract_atom() does not. (3) Gather_atoms() returns a list of all atoms in the simulation; extract_atoms() returns just the atoms local to each processor. (4) Finally, the gather_atoms() data structure is a copy of the atom coords stored internally in LAMMPS, whereas extract_atom() returns an array that effectively points directly to the internal data. This means you can change values inside LAMMPS from Python by assigning a new values to the extract_atom() array. To do this with the gather_atoms() vector, you need to change values in the vector, then invoke the scatter_atoms() method.

For the scatter methods, the array of coordinates passed to must be a ctypes vector of ints or doubles, allocated and initialized something like this:

from ctypes import c_double
natoms = lmp.get_natoms()
n3 = 3*natoms
x = (n3*c_double)()
x[0] = x coord of atom with ID 1
x[1] = y coord of atom with ID 1
x[2] = z coord of atom with ID 1
x[3] = x coord of atom with ID 2
x[n3-1] = z coord of atom with ID natoms
lmp.scatter_atoms("x", 1, 3, x)

The coordinates can also be provided as arguments to the initializer of x:

from ctypes import c_double
natoms = 2
n3 = 3*natoms
# init in constructor
x = (n3*c_double)(0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 1.0, 1.0, 1.0)
lmp.scatter_atoms("x", 1, 3, x)
# or using a list
coords = [1.0, 2.0, 3.0, -3.0, -2.0, -1.0]
x = (c_double*len(coords))(*coords)

Alternatively, you can just change values in the vector returned by the gather methods, since they are also ctypes vectors.