Workshop on "Intense Laser and Beam Plasma Interactions" in Honor of Professor Chan Joshi's 60th Birthday

The workshop and a banquet as held at UCLA on July 19-20, 2013. This event brought together former students, collaborators, and close colleagues of Chan's to reflect on how the field of intense laser and beam plasma interactions, including plasma based acceleration and the nonlinear optics of plasmas, has evolved in 30+ years and to discuss ideas for how to sustain this exciting field well into this century.

This event is jointly sponsored by the UCLA Department of Electrical Engineering and the UCLA Plasma Science Technology Institute.

Workshop website

Jan 2011: UCLA Physics & Astronomy Annual Report 2009-2010

Awards: Viktor Decyk received the 2009 John Dawson Prize at the 21st International Conference on the Numerical Simulation of Plasma for pioneering advances to plasma physics obtained through simulation. Decyk was recognized "for his seminal contributions to the development of parallel algorithms for particle-in-cell simulations, for his subtraction technique, and for the body of work which has benefited from his PIC codes and software."

Ph.D. Student Ian Ellis was selected to be a Lawrence Scholar.

Oct 2010: Plasma Sim Group awarded NSF MRI for $1.78M

The UCLA Physics & Astronomy Department is pleased to announce that the department’s Plasma Simulation Group (Warren B. Mori, Philip L. Pritchett, Scott A. Friedman, Tajendra V. Singh, Viktor K. Decyk) with support from the UCLA Institute for Digital Research and Education (IDRE), have been awarded a very competitive National Science Foundation major research instrumentation (MRI) grant for $1.78M, to build a 96-node dual core cluster based on general purpose graphical processing units. It will be called the Dawson 2 computer, and will function as a tool for making major advances in plasma-based accelerator and fusion energy research, as well as providing a resource for campus-wide efforts in implementing advanced architectures for computational based research. This is an essential step in allowing UCLA researchers to be able to compete at the cutting edge of computational based research. This award will have a significant impact on our research infrastructure. It has very positive implications for our programs in computation, student training, and helping guide the direction of frontier experiments in areas of critical scientific importance.

Project Summary: This is a proposal to build a 96-node dual quad core (768 i7 processors) cluster with 48 Nvidia Tesla units (192 GPUs). The network would be based on QDR Infiniband with full cross section bandwidth. Such a system would provide a peak speed in single precision of ~200TFLOPS and it would have the same memory bandwidth between nodes and between the GPU’s to the node. The cluster would be housed within the Institute for Digital Research and Education (IDRE). The cluster would have three main purposes. First, it would serve as a testbed for porting parallel particle-in-cell (PIC) codes used to study a variety of problems to GPU based systems. This experimentation could lead to parallel PIC algorithms that would run efficiently on future heterogeneous multi-core computers housed at large supercomputer centers. Second, if codes are successfully ported then the cluster will be an instrument for enabling breakthroughs in new particle accelerator technology, fusion energy, space plasmas, astrophysics, and basic plasma science. Third, the cluster will help to advance research and education in broad and diverse areas of Computational Science at UCLA.

Dec 2009: UCLA Physics & Astronomy Annual Report 2008-09

Awards: A recent graduate of the UCLA Plasma Simulation Group, Dr. Chengkun Huang, received the 2007 Nicholas Metropolis Award. This is the best thesis prize given by the Division of Computational Physics within the American Physical Society. Two other recent graduates, Dr. Wei Lu and Dr. Michail Tzoufras, received the 2007 and 2009 John Dawson Thesis Prizes respectively. This is the best thesis award given in the area of plasma-based acceleration.