"Atomic physics using high-performance computing," colloquium March 18, 2011

James Colgan, Los Alamos National Lab     

The last 25 years or so have seen a spectacular increase in raw computing power, both in processor speed and memory resources, as well as the availability of supercomputing facilities. This increase has allowed larger calculations and numerical simulations to be performed in all areas of physics, greatly enhancing understanding of many physical processes. This computing power increase has also significantly impacted atomic collision physics.

This talk will describe how large-scale computing has facilitated investigations of fundamental problems in collision physics, such as the so-called Coulomb three-body problem, which has no analytic solution and has, until recently, defied numerical solution. Examples will be drawn from several recent areas in which progress has been made. Some other areas in which high-performance computing may be expected to impact on atomic collision physics will also be described.