The Universe is believed to have been formed some 13.7 billion years ago out of an extremely dense and hot state known as the Big Bang. As temperatures subsequently cooled, quarks and gluons combined to form baryons such as protons and neutrons. The protons and neutrons then combined to form light nuclei.
At the same time, the Universe is assumed to have large quantities of an unknown form of matter called dark matter, which greatly exceeds the quantity of baryonic matter. At the beginning of the Universe, dark matter was gravitationally pulled together to form structures, which attracted normal baryonic matter that formed galaxies and stars, leading the Universe to take its present shape. Stars are frequently born in galaxies, and also die by supernova explosions resulting from gravitational collapse, and through this process heavier nuclei are formed. This also illustrates how the formation of the Universe’s structure is closely linked to the formation of matter.
The aim of the High Performance Computing Infrastructure (HPCI) Strategic Field Program 5 “The origin of matter and the universe” is to gain an integral understanding of the origin and structure of matter and the Universe, from elementary particles through to the formation of nuclei, stars and galaxies, in the history of the Universe starting at the Big Bang. We chose the following R&D topics for the program:
(1) Determination of the baryon-baryon interactions using lattice QCD at the physical point
(2) Elucidation of nuclear properties using ultra large-scale simulations of quantum many-body systems and its applications
(3) Exploring the processes underlying supernova explosions and the formation of black holes
(4) Investigation on the formation of first-generation objects in the Universe out of density fluctuations of dark matter
We will research these topics using the K computer, which has a peak performance of 10 petaflops.
Furthermore, we will develop a framework to advance computational science and technology through various means, such as effectively managing computational resources for the fundamental sciences, establishing research networks, and by pursuing human resources development and interdisciplinary collaboration.