The new Princeton University supercomputer, Traverse, enhances research at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics (PPPL) to develop the science to bring the fusion that powers the sun and stars to Earth. Princeton officially launched the supercomputer Sept. 30 in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the High-Performance Computing Research Center on the Forrestal campus.
To capture and control the process of fusion that powers the sun and stars in facilities on Earth called tokamaks, scientists must confront disruptions that can halt the reactions and damage the doughnut-shaped devices. Now an artificial intelligence system under development at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and Princeton University to predict and tame such disruptions has been selected as an Aurora Early Science project by the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, a DOE Office of Science User Facility.
Steven Cowley, a theoretical physicist and international authority on fusion energy, became the seventh Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) on July 1 and will be Princeton professor of astrophysical sciences on September 1.
The U.S. Department of Energy established in 2016 the Exascale Computing Project (ECP) -- a joint project of the DOE Office of Science (DOE-SC) and the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) -- that will result in a capable exascale ecosystem and prepare mission critical scientific and engineering applications to take advantage of that ecosystem.
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) high-performance computer sites have selected a dynamic fusion code, led by physicist C.S. Chang of the DOE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), for optimization on three powerful new supercomputers. The PPPL-led code was one of only three codes out of more than 30 science and engineering programs selected to participate in Early Science programs on all three new supercomputers, which will serve as forerunners for even more powerful exascale machines that are to begin operating in the United States in the early 2020s.
It is difficult for the standard numerical algorithms currently adopted by the plasma physics community to meet the long-term accuracy and fidelity requirement in large-scale numerical studies of multi-scale, complex dynamics of plasmas in space and laboratory. To overcome this difficulty, researchers have been actively developing a new generation of numerical algorithms that preserve the geometric structures, such as the symplectic structure, of theoretical models in plasma physics.
A proposal from scientists at PPPL has been chosen as part of a national initiative to develop the next generation of supercomputers
Scientists at Princeton University are starting to compose the complex codes designed to instruct a new class of powerful computers that will allow researchers to tackle problems that were previously too difficult to solve. These supercomputers, operating at a speed called the “exascale,” will produce realistic simulations of dazzlingly complex phenomena in nature such as fusion reactions, earthquakes, and climate change.
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.
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