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PaCER Seminar: Particle and molecular physics

Ten research projects were successfully granted access to the first Pawsey Centre for Extreme-scale Readiness (PaCER) program, establishing Australia’s research platform for extreme-scale computing.

Pawsey is hosting a series of seminars throughout June showcasing the first cohort of PaCER researchers’ projects. During its third week, the series is focusing on particle and molecular physics and is featuring Prof Pat Scott from the University of Queensland, Dr Waseem Kamleh from the University of Adelaide, and Curtin University, Professor Igor Bray.

The focus of the PaCER program is on both extreme scale research (algorithms design, code optimisation, application and workflow readiness) and using the computational infrastructure to facilitate research for producing world-class scientific outcomes.

The program is a partnership for collaboration between researchers and Pawsey Supercomputing Centre supercomputing specialists using the latest infrastructure provided by Setonix.

Join us each Tuesday in June to find out about their projects and their research impacts across Australia and the world.

Register to join the online seminar here.

About the projects

  • Searching for New Particles from the Attoscale to the Exascale with GAMBIT
  • Pat Scott

Collaborators from the University of Queensland/ Monash University and The University of Adelaide 

The broad objective of this project is to perform the world’s largest and most complete tests of theories for new particles and fundamental symmetries, by using astrophysics, cosmology and particle physics to attempt to detect new particles associated with physics beyond the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics. 

The Standard Model of particle physics is both the most fundamental and the most precisely validated theory in all of science– yet it is still incomplete. New particles are needed to explain the identity of dark matter and dark energy, why neutrinos have mass, why the Higgs boson is as light as it is, and why we are surrounded by so much more matter than antimatter. 

This project will make it possible to combine the results of all relevant experiments and bring them to bear on all the leading theories for new particles, by using exascale computing hardware to simulate billions of possible experimental signatures simultaneously. 

  • MCCC  
  • Calculation of collisions with molecular targets using the convergent close-coupling method 
  • Igor Bray

Curtin University

Bray’s project, Calculation of collisions with molecular targets using the convergent close-coupling method, will produce high-quality and comprehensive data describing the collisions of electrons and positrons with molecules, which are much needed in a range of applications.

The next big step forward in the field of molecular collisions is the adaptation and optimisation of the MCCC codes to exploit the capabilities of the next-generation supercomputers, with a particular emphasis on accelerating the calculations using GPUs. These developments will allow the first-ever large-scale collision calculations to be performed for molecules more complex than H2, and the resulting data sets will drastically improve plasma models in a wide range of scientific and industrial applications.

The GPU (Graphics Processing Units) implementation of the MCCC codes and optimisation for the next-generation supercomputer at Pawsey will allow, for the first time, for computationally-intensive calculations to be performed for the heavier hydride molecules. The comprehensive sets of collision data this will produce will represent another major step forward in the field of plasma science and the development of ITER, on par with the original development of the MCCC codes for H2.

  • EmPRiSM 
  • Emergent Phenomena Revealed in Subatomic Matter 
  • Waseem Kamleh 

University of Adelaide 

The central goal of this proposal is to reveal emergent phenomena in subatomic matter through the development of novel algorithms that harness extreme-scale computing.

Lattice quantum chromodynamics (Lattice QCD) is the fundamental theory that enables us to compute the properties of interacting matter. Advances in computing created by this project will unlock unachievable calculations of quantum fluctuations in the space-time vacuum.

This research will develop computational techniques that transform our understanding of the nuclear matter that constitutes the observable world, from the atomic scale of elemental hydrogen to the cosmic scale of neutron stars. Exploring vacuum contributions to the structure of the proton and other strongly interacting particles, the research will advance theoretical understanding and challenge experimental programs.

About the presenters

Pat Scott is a particle and astroparticle phenomenologist. Pat works with particle theory and experiment, cosmology, solar and stellar physics, high energy astrophysics, statistics, computational physics, supercomputing and other things – usually two or three at a time.

Pat is part of the GAMBIT Community, a group of other like-minded researchers from all over the HEP-astro diaspora, trying to put together all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that is the search for physics Beyond the Standard Model (of particle physics). A big part of that is dark matter, but really, they’ll take any new particles they can get. Pat was the Head of GAMBIT from its founding in 2012 to the end of 2020.

Before joining UQ in 2019, Pat was an STFC Ernest Rutherford Fellow and Senior Lecturer in the Fundamental Physics Section at Imperial College, a Banting Fellow in the HEP Theory group at McGill University, a PhD student in the Cosmology, Astroparticle Physics and String Theory Group at the Oskar Klein Centre in Stockholm, and an Honours student at the Mt Stromlo Observatory at ANU in Canberra.

Igor Bray is a John Curtin Distinguished Professor, and Head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Curtin University. His research interests are in the field of Quantum Collision Theory, where he has over 500 publications with around 13,500 citations. He has received several national awards for his research and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, American Physical Society, and Institutes of Physics in the UK and Australia. In addition to his research, he is interested in education issues broadly, and in particular High-Performance Computing.

Waseem Kamleh is a world-leading expert in computational physics, with a focus on the application of advanced algorithms and technologies to non-perturbative simulations. His PhD was awarded in 2004 from the University of Adelaide. He moved to Ireland to take up a prestigious post-doctoral position at Trinity College Dublin, returning to the University of Adelaide in 2007 where he is currently a research fellow within the Centre for the Subatomic Structure of Matter. Waseem has conducted extensive work in the field of lattice quantum chromodynamics (QCD), examining the origin of mass, electromagnetic interactions, resonance physics, and dynamical fermion algorithms. His expertise in high-performance computing and theoretical physics has been recognised with large awards of supercomputing resources, including Pawsey facilities such as Magnus and Athena. An early adopter of GPU programming, he also leads the transformation of the lattice QCD research programme at the University of Adelaide onto advanced technology platforms.

Register to join the online seminar here.