Two astrophysics research groups that SCIPP senior member Joel Primack leads received major awards of supercomputer time from the DOE-funded National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The computing these groups are doing at NERSC simulates galaxy formation in the context of the modern standard LambdaCDM theory of cosmology, dark matter, and dark energy. This research is relevant to the nature of the dark matter particles and the nature of dark energy, fundamental questions since dark matter and dark energy are the main components of cosmic matter and energy. Among the new observatories for which these simulations provide predictions and interpretations are the Vera Rubin Observatory and the James Webb Space Telescope.
Both research groups study state-of-the-art high-resolution cosmological hydrodynamic simulations of galaxy formation and evolution. The Galaxy Formation Simulations group received the equivalent of 4,000,000 cpu-hours in 2022 to run such simulations at NERSC, and 185 TB for archival storage of outputs. This award will be used to run new simulations and compare them with earlier simulations and with observations. The Assembling Galaxies of Resolved Anatomy (AGORA) group is an international collaboration of more than 100 astrophysicists to run and compare cosmological galaxy simulations using almost all the main modern simulation codes starting from the same initial conditions, to find how their predictions differ from each other and from observations, and to understand why. The AGORA group received 300,000 cpu-hours and 133 TB of archival storage, which will be used store, analyze, and compare simulations run elsewhere using all these different codes. The 2022 awards run from January 19, 2022, through January 17, 2023.