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Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

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New program funds PPPL projects

The Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) will receive approximately $2 million over the next three years under a new U.S. Department of Energy program called Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing.

The program is intended to advance fundamental research in several areas, including climate modeling, fusion energy sciences, chemical sciences, nuclear astrophysics, high-energy physics and high-performance computing. Nationally, the 51 projects funded this year involve collaborations among 13 Department of Energy laboratories and more than 50 colleges and universities.

Managed by Princeton University for the Department of Energy, the PPPL performs research in fusion energy science, leading to the development of an abundant and environmentally attractive means of generating electricity.

The Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing program is designed to help create a new generation of scientific simulation codes. The codes will take full advantage of the extraordinary computing capabilities of terascale computers (computers capable of doing trillions of calculations per second) to address ever larger, more complex problems. The program also includes research on improved mathematical and computing systems software that will allow these codes to use modern parallel computers effectively and efficiently. Additionally, the program will develop "collaboratory" software to enable geographically separated scientists to effectively work together as a team, to control scientific instruments remotely and to share data more readily.

"This innovative program will help us to find new energy sources for the future, understand the effect of energy production on our environment and learn more about the fundamental nature of energy and matter," said Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham. "A major strength of many of the projects is a partnership between scientists at the Energy Department's national laboratories and universities."

PPPL researchers will participate in four projects focused on the development and improvement of physics models and computer resources needed for integrated simulations of plasma confinement systems and data analysis. Plasmas are the hot, ionized gases that fuel the fusion process.

Contact: Marilyn Marks (609) 258-3601

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