Simulating Particle Interactions and the Resulting Detector Response at the LHC and Fermilab

PI Name: 
Taylor Childers
Institution: 
Argonne National Laboratory
Allocation Program: 
ALCC
Allocation Hours at ALCF: 
58 Million
Year: 
2017
Research Domain: 
Physics

High energy physics studies the properties of matter, energy, space and time at the smallest possible distances. Scientists do this by building particle detectors of great size and complexity – in some cases weighing thousands of tons and having millions of readouts. Scientists then use these detectors by comparing computer simulations of what they would expect to see if different theories hold true with the actual data, and seeing which, if any, match. Progress can be made by improving either end of this comparison, and this effort aims to improve the quality of the computer simulation. Using supercomputers, researchers can produce more simulated events, and simulation events of better accuracy or greater complexity than they could otherwise.

This project supports a team of experimental and theoretical physicists working together to answer fundamental questions for high energy physics. The team will create an end-station to advance computation on High Performance Computing resources in support of high energy physics experiments. The end-station environment will enable other particle physicists to use supercomputers more easily and quickly than they would on their own, to the benefit of the broader particle physics community. The project extends scientific research by producing simulated collision events for the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider that are too complex for simulation on the Grid, by improving calculation of theoretical matrix elements used in comparing simulation with data, and by simulating and analyzing data of muon and neutrino experiments based as Fermilab and elsewhere.