This simulation was used help evaluate a proposed method for producing fusion energy in the laboratory. The method, known as fast ignition, uses lasers capable of delivering more than a petawatt of power (a million billion watts) in a fraction of a billionth of a second to heat compressed deuterium and tritium fuel to temperatures exceeding the 50 million degrees Celsius needed to initiate fusion reactions and release net energy. Using the particle-in-cell code OSIRIS, each simulation evolved the dynamics of more than 100 billion particles for more than 100,000 computational time steps—approximately an order of magnitude larger than the previous largest simulations of fast ignition.
Processors: 1.6 million
Researcher: Frederico Fiuza