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Project TitleUltraIntense X-ray laser-matter interaction studies
SummaryStudy how ultra Intense X-rays interact with dense clump of nanomatter using gpu-enabled computation. Help explain how matter behaves in this new regime and come look for new physical phenomena.
Job DescriptionWork will be a mix of setting up hypotheses on the results of experiments (real or hypothetical) and testing them using with the current code. In parallel, gpu/cpu optimization will be sought to access larger parameter spaces (matter sizes, pulse durations, laser wavelengths etc). Additionally, the student will setup an automatic interface between our current laser-cluster code and the calculation tool XATOM in order to try on the fly calculations of needed atomic data.

This work will accelerate and enable laser-rare gas cluster theoretical research on nanoplasmas and this newly accessible regime of light-matter interactions. A lot of questions remain unanswered including the effect of size on a nanoplasma. This has been a difficult issue since atomistic models have only been able to access very small clusters (1000s of atoms). Newer, more efficient algorithms are needed to be able to atomistically understand larger clusters which also have implications for nanotechnology as well as the X-ray single shot diffraction imaging studies of proteins. Additionally, extension of current models to hard X-rays requires an enormous amount of physical data (cross-sections, decay rates, etc) and thus must be calculated on-the-fly. Integration with the XATOM package efficiently would solve this problem and extend atomistic models well into the hard-X-ray regime.
Use of Blue WatersThe xk nodes will act as both the primary HTC resource for the student's work on new hypotheses and as experimental hardware to see how best to optimize the code for large systems (beyond anything currently done in the field) using multiple xk nodes or a clever mix of cpu/gpu algorithm. These results will be compared with dual/triple gpu nodes on the PIs cluster to determine which, if any, implementation works best for large systems.
Conditions/QualificationsThe applicant must have completed all introductory physics courses and have experience in C++ or similar object oriented programming languages. Parallel programing experience and git experience a plus. Linux and ssh experience are required.

I would be willing to consider a student from an outside institution who has references.
Start Date05/16/2017
End Date05/15/2018
LocationThe work will primarily occur in the physics department of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in Edwardsville IL, 20 min east of St Louis.
Valerie Becker