DOE News
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    The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
    • 2018-12-14 16:55:48
    • Article ID: 705512

    Team Led by PPPL Wins Time on Three Supercomputers to Study the Complex Edge of Fusion Plasmas

    • Credit: Elle Starkman/PPPL Office of Communications.

      PPPL physicist and team leader C.S. Chang.

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded major computer hours on three leading supercomputers, including the world’s fastest, to a team led by C.S. Chang of the DOE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). The team is addressing issues that must be resolved for successful operation of ITER, the international experiment under construction in France to demonstrate the feasibility of producing fusion energy — the power that drives the sun and stars — in a magnetically controlled fusion facility called a “tokamak.”

    The award from the DOE’s Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program totals 6.05 million node-hours on three Leadership Computing Facilities at Oakridge and Argonne National Laboratories, which are DOE Office of Science User Facilities. Each computer node has thousands of CPU cores, which are individual data processors. A single node-hour is thus equivalent to thousands of core-hours.

    The allotment marks the second year of the team’s three-year INCITE designation, “and will enable our team to continue its study of the boundary physics of fusion plasmas for ITER,” Chang said.

    The PPPL deployment will be on three supercomputers:

    • Summit, the newly installed Oak Ridge supercomputer that is the world’s most powerful, will provide 1.05 million node-hours.

    • Titan, also at Oak Ridge, will provide 3.5 million node-hours.

    Theta, at Argonne National Laboratory, will provide 1.5 million node-hours.

    The team will use the high-performance XGC1 particle code, developed and maintained at PPPL, to model the density of the peak heat-flux on the plates that will exhaust heat and energy from ITER during high-confinement plasma operations. In addition, the team will study the transition of the plasma from low-confinement to high-confinement that will enable ITER to produce 10 times more energy than it will use to heat the plasma.

    A third step aims to show that what are called “resonant magnetic perturbations” (RMPs), the insertion of magnetic fields to reduce or eliminate instabilities at the edge of the plasma, reduces the density of the plasma far more than its temperature. Reduction of large amounts of both would lower plasma performance and impair fusion reactions.

    Physicists on the team at PPPL include Seung-Ho Ku, Robert Hager, Randy Churchill, Julien Dominski, Stephane Ethier, Aaron Scheinberg, and Ben Sturdevant, together with researchers at Lawrence Berkeley, Los Alamos and Oak Ridge national laboratories. Also on the team are the University of Colorado, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and NVIDIA, a Silicon Valleyvmaker of supercomputer chips.

    PPPL, on Princeton University's Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, N.J., is devoted to creating new knowledge about the physics of plasmas — ultra-hot, charged gases — and to developing practical solutions for the creation of fusion energy. The Laboratory is managed by the University for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the largest single supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

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    Measuring the Charge of Electrons in a High-Temp Superconductor

    Measuring the Charge of Electrons in a High-Temp Superconductor

    The measurements could inform the search for new materials that perfectly conduct electricity at relatively higher temperatures.

    A new way to generate solar steam for cleaning water and reducing waste

    A new way to generate solar steam for cleaning water and reducing waste

    At the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, researchers are exploring affordable materials that could absorb the sunlight necessary to evaporate water and recapture it, leaving contaminants behind.

    Amazon Rainforest Absorbing Less Carbon Than Expected

    Amazon Rainforest Absorbing Less Carbon Than Expected

    An international team of scientists, including climate scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, found that accounting for phosphorus-deficient soils reduced projected carbon dioxide uptake by an average of 50% in the Amazon, compared to current estimates based on previous climate models that did not take into account phosphorus deficiency.

    Fermilab's newest accelerator delivers first results

    Fermilab's newest accelerator delivers first results

    IOTA is designed to develop technologies to increase the number of particles in a beam without increasing the beam's size and thus the size and cost of the accelerator. IOTA researchers are investigating a novel technique called nonlinear integrable optics. The technique was a winner: Scientists observed that these specialized magnets significantly decreased the instability.

    Brookhaven Completes LSST's Digital Sensor Array

    Brookhaven Completes LSST's Digital Sensor Array

    After 16 years of dedicated planning and engineering, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory have completed a 3.2 gigapixel sensor array for the camera that will be used in the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), a massive telescope that will observe the universe like never before.

    Scientists Report Two Advances in Understanding the Role of 'Charge Stripes' in Superconducting Materials

    Scientists Report Two Advances in Understanding the Role of 'Charge Stripes' in Superconducting Materials

    In independent studies, two research teams report important advances in understanding how charge stripes might interact with superconductivity. Both studies were carried out with X-rays at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

    For Superconductors, Discovery Comes From Disorder

    For Superconductors, Discovery Comes From Disorder

    In a new study, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have explained the ways in which two electronic arrangements compete with each other and ultimately affect the temperature at which a material becomes superconducting.

    Cool Roofs Can Help Shield California's Cities Against Heat Waves

    Cool Roofs Can Help Shield California's Cities Against Heat Waves

    A new study by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory shows that if every building in California sported "cool" roofs by 2050, these roofs would help contribute to protecting urbanites from the consequences of dangerous heatwaves.

    Scientists discover potential path to improving samarium-cobalt magnets

    Scientists discover potential path to improving samarium-cobalt magnets

    Scientists have discovered a potential tool to enhance magnetization and magnetic anisotropy, making it possible to improve the performance of samarium-cobalt magnets.

    Atomic 'Trojan Horse' Could Inspire New Generation of X-Ray Lasers and Particle Colliders

    Atomic 'Trojan Horse' Could Inspire New Generation of X-Ray Lasers and Particle Colliders

    An international team of researchers, including scientists from the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, has demonstrated a potentially much brighter electron source based on plasma that could be used in more compact, more powerful particle accelerators.


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    DOE Issues Small Business Research and Development Funding Opportunity Announcement

    The Department of Energy (DOE) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs issued its first Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Fiscal Year 2020.

    Bioenergy startup licenses ORNL food-waste-to-fuel system

    Bioenergy startup licenses ORNL food-waste-to-fuel system

    Electro-Active Technologies, Inc., of Knoxville, Tenn., has exclusively licensed two biorefinery technologies invented and patented by the startup's co-founders while working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The technologies work as a system that converts organic waste into renewable hydrogen gas for use as a biofuel.

    DOE to Provide $27.6 Million for Data Science Research in Chemical and Materials Sciences

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $27.6 million in funding over the next three years for targeted research in data science to accelerate discovery in chemistry and material sciences.

    Explore the Site of a New Telescope Survey That Will Map the Universe in 3-D

    Explore the Site of a New Telescope Survey That Will Map the Universe in 3-D

    For a special sneak preview before the official start of observations in early 2020, join scientists, engineers, and others who are working on the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) for an exclusive day of access. DESI, under installation at Kitt Peak National Observatory, will capture the light from tens of millions of distant galaxies to better understand the accelerating expansion of the universe.

    A Community-Driven Data Science System to Advance Microbiome Research

    A Community-Driven Data Science System to Advance Microbiome Research

    The National Microbiome Data Collaborative (NMDC), a new initiative aimed at empowering microbiome research, is gearing up its pilot phase after receiving $10 million from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.

    Brookhaven Lab and University of Delaware Begin Joint Initiative

    Brookhaven Lab and University of Delaware Begin Joint Initiative

    The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and the University of Delaware (UD) have begun a two-year joint initiative to promote collaborative research in new areas of complementary strength and strategic importance.

    IDEMIA Identity & Security USA licenses ORNL advanced optical array

    IDEMIA Identity & Security USA licenses ORNL advanced optical array

    IDEMIA Identity & Security USA has licensed an advanced optical array developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The portable technology can be used to help identify individuals in challenging outdoor conditions.

    Jefferson Lab Welcomes New Director of Accelerator Operations

    Jefferson Lab Welcomes New Director of Accelerator Operations

    After an extensive search, Camille Ginsburg has been selected as the director of accelerator operations at DOE's Jefferson Lab.

    EIC Center at Jefferson Lab Announces Fellowship Awards

    EIC Center at Jefferson Lab Announces Fellowship Awards

    One graduate student and three postdoctoral research scientists are awarded fellowships to advance the science of an electron-ion collider.


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    Nuclear Physics Detector Tech Used in Cancer Treatment Monitoring System

    Nuclear Physics Detector Tech Used in Cancer Treatment Monitoring System

    The OARtrac(r) system includes technologies that are based on a novel application of scintillating material in fiber form. Doctors can insert these scintillating fibers into the human body via a catheter to monitor the radiation that cancer patients receive in a range of hard-to-reach areas.

    Machine Learning Helps Create Detailed, Efficient Models of Water

    Machine Learning Helps Create Detailed, Efficient Models of Water

    A team devised a way to better model water's properties. They developed a machine-learning workflow that offers accurate and computationally efficient models.

    Cultivating the Assembly Landscape

    Cultivating the Assembly Landscape

    For the first time, a team determined and predictably manipulated the energy landscape of a material assembled from proteins. Designing materials that easily and reliably morph on command could benefit water filtration, sensing applications, and adaptive devices.

    A Change in Structure for a Superheavy Magnesium Isotope

    A Change in Structure for a Superheavy Magnesium Isotope

    A recent measurement exploring the structure of magnesium-40 has shown a surprising change in the structure relative to expectations. This unanticipated change could be pointing to physics missing from our theories, such as the effects of weak binding between particles.

    Bursts of Light Shape Walls Between Waves of Charge

    Bursts of Light Shape Walls Between Waves of Charge

    To better store data, scientists need ways to change a material's properties suddenly. For example, they want a material that can go from insulator to conductor and back again. Now, they devised a surprisingly simple way of flipping a material from one state into another, and back again, with flashes of light. A single light pulse turns thin sheets of tantalum disulfide from its original (alpha) state into a mixture of alpha and beta states. Domain walls separate the two states. A second pulse of light dissolves the walls, and the material returns to its original state.

    New Geometric Model Improves Predictions of Fluid Flow in Rock

    New Geometric Model Improves Predictions of Fluid Flow in Rock

    Supercomputer validates mathematical approach for describing geological features.

    Deep Learning Reveals Mysteries of Deep Space

    Deep Learning Reveals Mysteries of Deep Space

    How do you determine the measurable "things" that describe the nature of our universe? To answer that question, researchers used CosmoFlow, a deep learning technique, running on a National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center supercomputer. They analyzed large, complex data sets from 3-D simulations of the distribution of matter to answer that question. The team showed that CosmoFlow offers a new platform to gain a deeper understanding of the universe.

    At DOE's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, science drives next-gen creations

    At DOE's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, science drives next-gen creations

    American ingenuity is providing radical productivity improvements from advanced materials and robotic systems developed at the Department of Energy's Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

    High-Fidelity Multiphysics Simulations to Improve Nuclear Reactor Safety and Economics

    High-Fidelity Multiphysics Simulations to Improve Nuclear Reactor Safety and Economics

    Engineers can model heat distribution in reactor designs with fewer or no approximations.

    Tiny Vortices Could One Day Haul Microscopic Cargo

    Tiny Vortices Could One Day Haul Microscopic Cargo

    The behavior of active magnetic liquids suggests new pathways to transport particles across surfaces and build materials that self-heal.


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