Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Powerful Computers Advance Fusion Research At The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

Date:
September 22, 1998
Source:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Summary:
Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) report a major advance in the computer modeling of fusion plasmas in the September 18 edition of Science magazine. The new results were obtained utilizing the Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) capabilities of the DOE’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in Berkeley, California.

PLAINSBORO, NJ -- Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s(DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) report a majoradvance in the computer modeling of fusion plasmas in theSeptember 18 edition of Science magazine. The new results wereobtained utilizing the Massively Parallel Processing (MPP)capabilities of the DOE’s National Energy Research ScientificComputing Center (NERSC) at the Lawrence Berkeley NationalLaboratory (LBNL) in Berkeley, California.

In general, the formation of stars results from the dynamicbehavior of hot ionized gases known as plasmas. Fusionresearchers use magnetic fields to confine such hot gaseous fuelat the temperature, density, and duration required for thecontrolled production of significant amounts of fusion energy.However, turbulence can spoil the efficiency of this approach bycausing accelerated loss of particles and energy from the plasma.As pointed out in a Perspectives article in the same issue ofScience, good news from toroidal confinement experimentsindicates that the suppression of turbulence can enabletransitions to newly discovered enhanced confinement regimes.

In the work reported in Science this week, PPPL scientists haveused the full power of the SGI/Cray T3E supercomputer at NERSC tocreate three-dimensional nonlinear particle simulations ofmicroturbulence in the plasma. The use of NERSC’s massivelyparallel processor (MPP) capabilities enabled scientists toperform calculations involving 400 million plasma particles(i.e., 100 million guiding centers) in 5,000 time-steps -- anachievement impossible without the use of powerful MPP computers.

“The information obtained from these advanced computersimulations is providing valuable new physics insights andcorrelates well with trends observed in experiments. This workbuilds on the excellent knowledge base developed internationallyand complements related research efforts at other nationallaboratories such as Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory andGeneral Atomics (both in California), as well as at universitiessuch as UCLA and the University of Colorado,” noted PPPL’s ChiefScientist, William M. Tang.

“The results in our Science article help support the increasinglyaccepted position that high performance scientific computing hasmatured to a level where it can be considered a new tool fordiscovery complementing traditional theory and experiment,” Tangsaid. “It is evident that plasma science, along with many otherfields, will benefit greatly from the development of the advancedcomputational capabilities envisaged and strongly encouraged atthe DOE/National Science Foundation Workshop on AdvancedScientific Computing held this July at the National Academy ofSciences.”

NERSC was originally established in 1974 to support fusion energyresearch programs sponsored by the DOE. The center, one of thenation’s most powerful unclassified supercomputing centers,provides both computational resources and technical support toresearchers at PPPL, as well as a wide range of research effortsin various scientific disciplines at other DOE sites.

“These results are exciting in that they again demonstrate thevalue of computational science as a complement to experimentalscience. It’s particularly exciting that this significant fusionresult was achieved using a highly parallel computing system,”said William Kramer, Deputy Director of NERSC. “We’re alsopleased to see that NERSC continues to play a critical role inhelping plasma physics scientists make new advances in the field.Collaborations such as this really are the future of large-scalescientific research.”

NERSC (http://www.nersc.gov) provides high performance computingservices to DOE’s Energy Research programs at nationallaboratories, universities, and industry. Berkeley Lab(http://www.lbl.gov) conducts unclassified research and ismanaged by the University of California.

PPPL (http://www.pppl.gov), which is funded by DOE and managed byPrinceton University, is a collaborative national center forscience and innovation leading to an attractive fusion energysource.

Editor’s Note: The citation for the PPPL Science article is:“Turbulent Transport Reduction by Zonal Flows: Massively ParallelSimulations,” Z. Lin, T.S. Hahm, W.W. Lee, W.M. Tang, and R.B.White, Science (281), 1835 (1998). There is also a Perspectivearticle by Keith Burrell of General Atomics Corporation and ahighlight of the article in the same issue of Science.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "Powerful Computers Advance Fusion Research At The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980922072503.htm>.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. (1998, September 22). Powerful Computers Advance Fusion Research At The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980922072503.htm
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. "Powerful Computers Advance Fusion Research At The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980922072503.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Comparing his current crop of drones to early personal computers, DJI founder Frank Wang says the industry is poised for a growth surge - assuming regulators in more markets clear it for takeoff. Jon Gordon reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand

3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand

AP (July 30, 2014) 3-D printing is a cool technology, but it's not exactly a hands-on way to make things. Enter the 3Doodler: the pen that turns you into the 3-D printer. AP technology writer Peter Svensson takes a closer look. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins