Expertise from the fields of high performance computing and particle accelerators was brought together for a workshop at Daresbury Laboratory and the Cockcroft Institute last week, aimed at harnessing the power of new parallel computing facilities for particle accelerators.
The three-day ‘Advanced Computing for Accelerators’ workshop, which ran from 15th-17th January 2013, attracted a high level of interest, with over 70 delegates in attendance. The format of each day was different, with practical sessions, presentations, and lively discussion sessions.
The first day was a practical training session using the new Hartree Centre training suite, in which the delegates got to experience first-hand the speed increases possible using the Hartree Centre resources. Staff from the Hartree Centre, ASTeC and Tech-X instructed the delegates on running different particle accelerator simulation codes on the Hartree Centre’s ‘Blue Wonder’ IBM iDataPlex parallel computer.
The second day featured a number of presentations from the writers of
computer codes, demonstrating the potential of parallel computing to simulate increasingly complex models at faster speeds, with case studies from both particle accelerators and other research areas.
The third day consisted of discussion sessions, considering the present research challenges in particle accelerators and how they can be addressed with high performance computing, plus next steps towards planning and funding future projects. Several promising ideas emerged and collaborations to take them forward were initiated.
The event was organised in collaboration between staff from STFC’s Hartree Centre and ASTeC, and members of the University of Huddersfield and the Cockcroft Institute, with support from these organisations and additional support from the IOP Particle Accelerators and Beams Group.
Attendees from many institutions contributed, including STFC departments (ASTeC, Hartree Centre, ISIS), UK universities (Huddersfield, Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester, Oxford, Strathclyde, Surrey) - including members of the Cockcroft and John Adams Institutes, as well as from industry (IBM, Pulsar Physics, Tech-X) and European Laboratories (PSI).
The slides from the presentations given at the workshop are available here (link opens in a new window).