The Department of Energy (DOE) recently provided $15 million to a project pushing the development of nuclear energy as a reliable form of clean energy. To achieve this goal of sustainable nuclear energy, the required physics and computation of nuclear fusion needs to be better understood, which has created an opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration. The Center for Hierarchical and Robust Modeling of Non-Equilibrium Transport (CHaRMNET), led by Michigan State University and Los Alamos National Laboratory, is a collaborative effort with 9 institutions, including the University of Colorado at Boulder. Specifically, Applied Mathematics’ Professor David Bortz and Associate Professor Stephen Becker are included in this effort. The provided $15 million will go to create a Mathematical Multifaceted Integrated Capability Center (MMICC), which enables this interdisciplinary collaboration of researchers.
In the article written by Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine, Dr. Bortz explained that modern computing is not capable of running full plasma simulations, meaning work is necessary to allow for plasma physicists to run simulations that investigate and optimize fusion-reactor designs. To this team, Dr. Bortz (left on image) and Dr. Becker (right on image) provides different, unique expertise. Dr. Bortz explains on his APPM webpage that his group focuses “on the methodology of data-driven modeling and model selection,” while Dr. Becker’s group focuses on “information extraction from various types of datasets” and sampling theory. Combined with the expertise of researchers from eight other institutions, the collaboration aims to improve our understanding of fusion reactions and the path towards sustainable nuclear energy.
The article written by Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine has more information about the grant/collaboration and comments by Dr. Bortz, Dr. Becker, and the collaborators.