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Computing Properties of Hadrons, Nuclei and Nuclear Matter
from Quantum Chromodynamics

SciDAC-3 Scientific Computation Application Partnership project

Project Director: Frithjof Karsch, Brookhaven National Laboratory  
Project Co-director for Science:  David Richards, JLab
Project Co-director for Computation: Richard Brower, Boston University

Principle investigators of participating research teams:

Frithjof Karsch    Brookhaven National Laboratory
Richard Brower Boston University
Robert Edwards Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility
Martin Savage University of Washington
John Negele Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Rob Fowler University of North Carolina
Andreas Stathopoulos College of William and Mary

A fundamental quest of modern science is the exploration of matter in all its possible forms. The overarching mission of the field of Nuclear Physics is to establish a framework with which to perform high-precision calculations, with quantifiable uncertainties, of the properties and interactions of nuclear matter under a broad range of conditions, including those beyond the reach of laboratory experiment. Since the 1970’s, quantum chromodynamics (QCD), a non-Abelian quantum gauge field theory constructed in terms of quarks and gluons, has been established as the theory of the strong interactions—which, along with the electroweak interactions, is responsible for all nuclear phenomena. However, many aspects of nuclear physics are dictated by the regime of QCD in which its defining feature—asymptotic freedom—is concealed by confinement and by the structure of its vacuum. The numerical technique of Lattice QCD is the only known way to perform ab initio QCD calculations of strong interaction quantities in this regime.

Software Development  

SciDAC Layers

Figure 1: SciDAC Layers and the software module structure.

This project coordinates the software development effort which the nuclear physics lattice QCD community will pursue in order to ensure that lattice calculations can make optimal use of forthcoming leadership-class and dedicated hardware, including those of the national laboratories, and prepares for the exploitation of future computational resources in the exascale era.

The project will further develop and optimize simulation software for lattice QCD calculations on leadership class computers and on GPU-accelerated heterogeneous architectures. The participating teams will improve and extend software libraries (Chroma, CPS, MILC, QLUA) by providing interfaces for heterogeneous computing environments and through the optimization of gauge field evolution algorithms and sparse matrix inverters. The former includes the development of new multi-time scale integrators and the latter will focus on the development of new multi-grid and domain decomposition inverters for several QCD fermion discretization schemes. The project furthermore will develop a domain specific language for lattice QCD computations which will enable the generation of highly optimized code within the ROSE compiler framework.

Collaborations and links to SciDAC Institutes  

Work on algorithms will be performed in cooperation with the FastMATH SciDAC institute, while work on compiler will be carried out in cooperation with SUPER. The optimization of of software for specific compute platforms will be coordinated with development teams at of hardware manufactures at IBM, INTEL and NVIDIA.  

The software development performed by this project is coordinated with that of the Scidac-3 project ''Strongly-Coupled Field Theories  at the Intensity and Energy Frontiers''. Both projects are part of the software development effort of the USQCD Collaboration, which consists of nearly all of the high energy and nuclear physicists in the United States working on the numerical study of lattice gauge theories.  All software developments will be made publicly available through the USQCD collaboration web page, .