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SLAC Advanced Computations Group Earns Supercomputing Time
Save the Date: SLAC Summer Institute

SLAC Today

Thursday - January 28, 2010

SLAC Advanced Computations Group Earns Supercomputing Time

From left: Greg Schussman, Lie-Quan Lee, Vineet Rawat, Liling Xiao, Arno Candel, Lixing Ge, Cho Ng and Zenghai Li of the SLAC Advanced Computations Group. (Photo by Shawne Workman.)

A group of SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory scientists will have another year and another 12,000,000 processor hours on the supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to perform research that could greatly improve the next generation of linear colliders. The Department of Energy Office of Advanced Science Computing Research announced Tuesday that 69 research programs have been awarded supercomputing time as part of its Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment program, or INCITE, which supports computationally intensive, large-scale research projects. The SLAC team, led by computer scientist Lie-Quan Lee, submitted a plan in 2008 for a three year study, requiring approvals from the DOE annually. This is the second year that they have been awarded time for the project.

"Time on a supercomputer will let us do a large-scale simulation that we cannot do anywhere else," said Lee, who acted as Principle Investigator on the INCITE application. "A supercomputer lets us solve much bigger problems, meaning we get much higher resolution in the answer, and it can give us the result much faster."

Lee is a member of SLAC's Advanced Computations Group, which includes computer scientists and accelerator physicists. The group plans to use the supercomputing time to model and optimize the design of linear colliders. Namely, they will study electromagnetic wakefields: unintended effects that occur inside linear accelerators. As bunches of electrons or positrons cruise through the accelerator's pipeline of connected cavities, called cryomodules, the particles' charges kick up an electromagnetic wake, like a speeding boat that stirs up a wake in the water. These wakefields can interfere with the next particle bunch and degrade its quality, or even cause damage to the cavity. 

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Save the Date: SLAC Summer Institute

It's official: the Summer Institute XXXVIII will take place August 2–13, 2010. This annual ten-day summer school features lectures in SLAC's Panofsky Auditorium, topical afternoon talks and discussion sections, a SLAC tour, and not-to-be-missed evening social activities and poster sessions. This is a truly unique event that allow students and researchers to interact in such a way that enlightens everyone involved. Stay tuned for more details and updates in the coming months.

The SLAC Summer Institute is hosted by Stanford University and co-sponsored by the US Department of Energy and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

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