Collaboration of Irish & US scientists successful in the DEISA Extreme Computing Initiative
Researchers from the TCD School of Mathematics have been awarded access to large-scale supercomputing resources under the DEISA Extreme Computing Initiative (DECI-6). DEISA is the Distributed European Infrastructure for Supercomputing Applications, an EU FP7 Research Infrastructure Project.
The successful DECI-6 project will perform ab-initio computations of the spectrum of light isoscalar mesons in quantum chromodynamics (QCD). QCD is the quantum field theory that describes how quarks and gluons interact and bind inside nucleons. One of the most striking and yet poorly understood features of QCD is that the constituent quark and gluons in the theory have never been observed experimentally. This phenomena is termed "confinement". The physical states of QCD are the hadrons: baryons (like the proton and neutron) and mesons. Mesons are made up of a quark and an anti-quark pair, inextricably bound together. The project will investigate the physics of mesons with the simplest quark flavour structure (the isoscalar mesons) using lattice QCD. The isoscalar sector is a particular challenge to understand from both the experimental perspective as well as theory. The difficulty arises as the isoscalar quantum numbers are the same as the QCD vacuum, allowing a large set of quantum states to mix. The project will collaborate with scientists at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (JLab) in the US.
The DECI-6 allocation will enable researchers to exploit a new technique, termed "distillation" that has recently been developed by the collaboration. The team will make measurements of the spectrum of these isoscalar states with unprecedented accuracy, giving substantial new insight into the physics of confined quarks and gluons. These insights will support experimental research programmes at JLab and other international accelerators.
The allocation gives researchers 2.4M core-hours on the HPC systems hosted by EPCC, Edinburgh University's Parallel Computing Centre. The project will use the "chroma" software system, developed at JLab. This software has been extensively tested on large-scale computing systems in the US and is developed as part of the US Department of Energy's SciDAC programme. The DECI-6 project extends an existing collaboration between researchers at TCD and JLab.
TCHPC will provide support for the project through enabling grid access and high-speed data transfer, support personnel and the continued maintainance and provision of the significant local compute clusters in TCD needed for post-production data analysis.