Message from the Director

The RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) is presently developing the K computer, which will deliver a world-class peak performance of 10 petaflops when it is completed in the fall of 2012. Five HPCI Strategic Field Programs have been selected in order to pursue innovative research using the K computer. Our Strategic Field Program 5 “The origin of matter and the universe” will involve the pursuit of research in the fundamental sciences of particle physics, nuclear physics, and astrophysics.

My own field of expertise centers on elementary particle physics, with a focus on research into quantum chromodynamics (QCD), which describes the dynamics between quarks and gluons. Quarks engage in strong interaction mediated by gluons. When three quarks come together and bind, they form baryonic particles such as protons and neutrons. However, when we try to study the properties of baryons by separating their constituent quarks, it is impossible to do so due to the strong force between quarks. This is known as “quark confinement.” These properties previously prevented us from carrying out theoretical calculations of QCD using paper and pencil alone.
However, lattice QCD was discovered as a method that enables numerical simulations using supercomputers. By using lattice QCD, we can calculate baryon masses and baryon-baryon interaction forces.

We will pursue research in our Strategic Field Program 5, using the K computer to elucidate questions concerning particle physics and other topics in the fields of nuclear physics and astrophysics, so that we can shed light on the mysteries of matter and the Universe.

Sinya Aoki
Chief Officer, HPCI Strategic Field Program 5 “The origin of matter and the universe”
January 2011