Particle Accelerator Research

The University's Department of Physics and Astronomy offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Faculty research draws millions of dollars a year in external funding for studies in large scale (solar system, galaxy, and universe by the astronomy, cosmology, and space physics groups); small scale (nuclear, high energy and astroparticle physics groups); and bulk matter physics (condensed matter and biophysics groups). Strong interdisciplinary programs exist in biophysics, nano-bio science, accelerator physics, and astrobiology.

The IMSL Fortran Library code is very efficient

and robust, which benefits the very complicated nature of our programs.

Efficient Numerical Tools for Modeling and Simulation

An associate professor at the University conducts research in a number of areas including accelerator physics, nonlinear dynamics, and computational physics. Much of his current research is aimed at bringing new methods of nonlinear analysis for an understanding of the nonlinear motion of beam particles in high-energy particle accelerators. As such, his group collaborates with accelerator physics groups in national and international laboratories.

In particle storage-ring accelerators, two electron or proton beams circulate in opposite directions and collide head-on at certain points in the accelerator. Physicists study the collisions of those subatomic particles to better understand the origin, nature, and evolution of our universe. In this area, the professor and his research group study the stability of particle beams that is essential to the operation of an accelerator for the physics experiments. In order to study the beam stability, they need efficient numerical tools to model and simulate the motion of beam particles in accelerators.

Efficient Use of Research Time

The associate professor was already a user of the IMSL Fortran Library, a library of mathematical and statistical algorithms.

I used the IMSL Fortran Library as a graduate student. When I began my research at the University, I knew I’d continue to use the IMSL Fortran Library. I know there are other packages available, including many free ones on the Internet, but I need something with the high level of numerical efficiency and robustness of the IMSL Fortran Library.

He uses IMSL Fortran Library functions such as optimization and non-linear equation solvers for the simulation of the motion of particle beams in an accelerator. “Without the IMSL Fortran Library, I’d have to write my own code to perform these functions and since I’m not an expert in algorithm development, that wouldn’t be an efficient use of my research time,” said the professor.

Another critical feature of the IMSL Fortran Library is that the algorithms have very good performance.

IMSL Fortran Library code is very efficient and robust, which benefits the very complicated and time-consuming nature of our beam simulation codes. In addition, we often use high-performance multi-processor supercomputers for the beam simulation. The IMSL Fortran Library performs well in shared-memory multi-processor computing environments and the fact that the most NSF and DOE high-performance computing centers have the IMSL Fortran Library in their supercomputers makes it easy to share and test codes.

Return on Investment

The primary benefit of using the IMSL Fortran Library is to conduct a more efficient research project that helps national laboratories design and operate better accelerators for physics research.

The professor reports that the IMSL Fortran Library also benefits his graduate students. As part of their graduate education, he requires that his graduate students learn and use the IMSL Numerical Libraries. “The programming skills and computational understanding they develop by using the IMSL Numerical Libraries are invaluable for their future research or industrial careers.” 

Conduct a More Efficient Research Project

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