Supercomputing for Green Energy

Britton Olson, Stanford University

Photo of Britton Olson

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is anticipated to achieve laboratory fusion in late 2010. This unprecedented breakthrough will enable scientists to explore a myriad of questions which have gone unanswered for centuries. NIF will also provide a platform for advances in clean, sustainable energy by means of Inertial Fusion Energy (IFE) technology. Although the theory behind IFE has existed for decades, the technology is yet in its infancy. Fortunately, supercomputers can be used to simulate the physics which govern this process to an amazing degree of accuracy. These calculations will greatly accelerate and inform the design process. We present here specific examples of how these large-scale calculations are being used in the development of this emerging energy technology.

Abstract Author(s): Britton J. Olson, Andrew W. Cook