Lattice QCD

PI Name: 
Paul Mackenzie
PI Email:
Allocation Program: 
Allocation Hours at ALCF: 
180 Million
Research Domain: 

For this INCITE project, researchers from the U.S. Quantum Chromodynamics (USQCD) Collaboration will advance exploration in lattice quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of the strong interactions between quarks and gluons, which make up hadrons, such as protons, neutrons, and pions. In high-energy physics, precise lattice QCD calculations are required to investigate and validate the properties of the Standard Model of particle physics, and to search for new physics beyond the Standard Model.

The main objectives of the calculations are to generate gauge configurations of the gluon fields, which are representative samples of the QCD ground state, and use these configurations to calculate physical quantities. To date, this project has created 4,800 new gauge configurations which will be used to address fundamental questions in high-energy and nuclear physics. They are directly related to on-going major experimental programs, such as the GlueX experiment at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, in Switzerland.

The availability of petascale computers, such as Mira, has made it possible, for the first time, to perform calculations at the physical value of the pion mass on very fine lattices. These calculations, in turn, are having a major impact on Standard Model theory. Results from this project are essential for meeting milestones set by DOE’s Office of Science.