Scheduled System Maintenance:
Some services will be unavailable Sunday, March 29th through Monday, March 30th. We apologize for the inconvenience.
By Topic

Simulating quarks

Sign In

Cookies must be enabled to login.After enabling cookies , please use refresh or reload or ctrl+f5 on the browser for the login options.

The purchase and pricing options are temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.
1 Author(s)
Creutz, M. ; Brookhaven Nat. Lab., Upton, NY, USA

Over the past 25 years (1979-2004), the theoretical-particle physicists who practice lattice-gauge theory have become some of the most frequent users of supercomputing cycles. Although we've long known that atoms consist of electrons surrounding a nucleus made of nucleons (protons and neutrons), we've recently learned that at a deeper level, the nucleons themselves are composites. We can best explain the strong forces between them by assuming they are composed of three quarks interacting via fields called gluons. The need for three constituents helps explain much of the zoo of similar states seen in particle physics experiments. Certain intractable aspects of the interactions between quarks and gluons have driven us to the computer. Indeed, large-scale simulations have helped us make major inroads into issues highly resistant to traditional approaches. Lattice-gauge theory provides a controlled scheme for studying strong interactions at low energies. The article shows that the main tools are powerful but demanding algorithms (such as conjugate-gradient sparse matrix inversions). Still-unsolved issues involve the "sign" problem and the basic formulation of parity violation on the lattice. Although we certainly need additional computing capability, we also need new ideas.

Published in:

Computing in Science & Engineering  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 2 )