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InTheLoop | 04.09.2007

The weekly newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences

April 9, 2007

Registration Now Open for April 17-18 Meeting on Energy, Sustainability, Security

Berkeley Lab will host the first of three “town hall meetings” on the proposed Simulation and Modeling at the Exascale for Energy, Ecological Sustainability and Global Security (E3SGS) program. The meeting will be held April 17-18 in the Bldg. 66 auditorium. Registration is open until noon Wednesday, April 11. Details on the meeting can be found at http://hpcrd.lbl.gov/E3SGS/main.html. Subsequent meetings will be held at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on May 17-18 and at Argonne National Laboratory on May 31-June 1.

CS Scientists to Speak at This Week’s Climate Change Symposium at MSRI

CRD Group Leaders Phil Colella and Kathy Yelick are among the invited speakers to be featured at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (MSRI) “Symposium on Climate Change: From Global Models to Local Action,” to be held Thursday and Friday, April 12-13. The symposium will be held at MSRI in Berkeley, and details can be found at http://www.msri.org/specials/climatechange/workshop.

Global models based on current and past observations document the reality of climate change caused by human activity, although the details of what will happen when and where are far from clear. This symposium will address the problems and the research necessary to translate these global, long-term predictions into local predictions on shorter time scales on which governments and businesses can act; and will address the implications for industry and public policy now.

The symposium will also include a public session to held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. Confirmed speakers include Prof. Severin Borenstein of the Haas School of Business and director of the University of California Energy Institute, Congressman Jerry McNerney, UC Berkeley School of Journalism Dean Orville Schell, and California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey. More information on the public symposium can be found at http://www.msri.org/specials/climatechange/.

LBNL’s Cameron Geddes Is This Week’s NERSC Brown Bag Speaker

This week’s OSF brown bag lunch discussion is with LBNL’s Cameron Geddes at noon Thursday, April 12, in Room 238 at the Oakland Scientific Facility. Geddes, who was PI for the INCITE7 project, will discuss “Compact particle accelerators using high gradient laser wakefields.” Geddes has a 2007 NERSC allocation of 1.14 million hours. He produced the “Dream Beam” image that appeared on the cover of the September 30, 2004 issue of Nature (http://www.nersc.gov/news/annual_reports/annrep04/html/adv-comp-sci/05-best-beam.html), and was awarded the 2006 Marshall N. Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award from the American Physical Society.

Laser-driven wakefield accelerators produce accelerating fields thousands of times greater than those achievable in conventional radiofrequency accelerators, potentially extending the frontiers of high energy physics and enabling laboratory-scale ultrafast radiation sources. Because the plasma response is highly nonlinear, large-scale, self-consistent particle simulations in 3D are important to understand and optimize this new acceleration process.

Such simulations have shown that high-quality electron bunches in recent LBNL and other experiments were formed by self-trapping of electrons in the wake followed by loading of the wake by the trapped bunch, creating a bunch of electrons isolated in phase space. A narrow energy spread beam was then obtained by extracting the bunch as it outran the accelerating phase of the wake.

These simulations have now been extended to three dimensions and high resolution under INCITE to provide more quantitative understanding of the experiments. Challenges now include control and reproducibility of the electron beam, further improvements in energy spread, and scaling to higher energies. Experiments and simulations are also in progress to control injection of particles into the wake and hence improve beam quality and stability further.

April 30 Conference to Forecast Future of New Software Industry

In response to dramatic changes being experienced and anticipated within the software industry, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of California, Berkeley have joined to sponsor “The New Software Industry: Forces at Play, Business in Motion.” The one-day conference gathers academics and industry leaders to discuss the background, current status, and future of the software industry. The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, April 30, at the Microsoft Research campus in Mountain View. For more details, please see http://west.cmu.edu/sofcon/5404216.html.

The conference program includes strategic insights into the industry; tactical insights into approaches, risks and tradeoffs to development and deployment of service models and services; and an overview of the competitive trends and landscape that affects the field. To register for the conference, go to http://www.acteva.com/booking.cfm?bevaid=128819.

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences organization provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing the Department of Energy's research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe.

ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 7,000-plus scientists at national laboratories and universities, including those at Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division (CRD). CRD conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis, computer system architecture and high-performance software implementation. NERSC and ESnet are Department of Energy Office of Science User Facilities.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the DOE’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest 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.