The Joint Institute for Computational Fundamental Science (JICFuS) was jointly established as a research body by three organizations that actively pursue computational research in the fundamental sciences—the Center for Computational Sciences (CCS) of the University of Tsukuba, the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). Since its establishment in February 2009, JICFuS has been pursuing theoretical computational research in fundamental physics, concentrating on particle physics, nuclear physics, and astrophysics.
In recent years, we have seen changes occurring in the field of elemental particle theory, which is my area of specialization. My research involves the study on properties of proton and other hadrons, made of several quarks, using quantum chromodynamics (QCD), which describes the interactions among quarks and gluons. QCD is a complex theory, whose equations are impossible to calculate using paper and pencil alone. However, with certain modifications, we can solve problems by using computers to perform numerical simulations. Using QCD, we are now able to calculate proton masses and lately even the nuclear force acting between protons and neutrons. Similar changes in research methodologies are also occurring in the fields of nuclear physics and astrophysics, and the combination of fundamental physics and computers has given rise to the computational fundamental sciences.
Research on computational fundamental sciences requires high-performance computer systems, and these demands are not easily met even by expensive general-purpose computers. We often develop our own dedicated computer systems at a relatively affordable cost, in order to advance our research. Of course, it is essential that we work collaboratively with computer scientists to build our own systems, which is why we have many computer scientists at JICFuS in addition to researchers in the field of fundamental physics.
As Director of JICFuS, it is my goal for our organization to integrate the disciplines of particle physics, nuclear physics and astrophysics, using computer science as a platform of shared methodologies.
Director, Joint Institute for Computational Fundamental Science