Since the 1930s, scientists have been using particle accelerators to gain insights into the structure of matter and the laws of physics that govern our world. These accelerators are some of the most powerful experimental tools available, propelling particles to nearly the speed of light and then colliding them to allow physicists to study the resulting interactions and particles that form.
Using the Summit supercomputer housed at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a team of nuclear physicists led by Kostas Orginos at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and William & Mary has developed a promising method for measuring quark interactions in hadrons and has applied this method to simulations using quarks with close-to-physical masses. To complete the simulations, the team used a powerful computational technique called lattice quantum chromodynamics, or LQCD, coupled with the computing power of Summit, the nation’s fastest supercomputer. The results were published in Physical Review Letters.