We present a comprehensive a priori error analysis of a practical energy based atomistic/continuum coupling method (Shapeev, arXiv:1010.0512) in two dimensions, for finite-range pair-potential interactions, in the presence of vacancy defects. The majority of the work is devoted to the analysis of consistency and stability of the method. These yield a priori error estimates in the H1-norm and the energy, which depend on the mesh size and the "smoothness" of the atomistic solution in the continuum region. Based on these error estimates, we present heuristics for an optimal choice of the atomistic region and the finite element mesh, which yields convergence rates in terms of the number of degrees of freedom. The analytical predictions are supported by extensive numerical tests.Comment: 57 page
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