Computational Methods in Transport

September 11 - 16, 2004


The transport of particles, be they photons, neutrons, neutrinos, or charged particles, arises in a multitude of applications. For inertial confinement fusion , whether one is dealing with direct drive through photon or ion beams or dealing with indirect drive via thermal photons in a hohlraum, the accurate transport of energy around and into tiny capsules requires high-order transport solutions for photons and electrons. In astrophysics, the life cycle of the stars, their formation, evolution, and death all require transport of photons and neutrinos. In planetary atmospheres, cloud variability and radiative transfer play a key role in understanding climate. These examples are just a small subset of the applications where an accurate and fast determination of particle transport is required.

The nature of the transport problem is that in its 3D basic form it involves solving a seven dimensional Boltzmann equation which in most cases is non-linear. Hence, except for a few simple benchmark answers, the transport problem is solvable only via numerical methods. These numerical methods have developed and grown over the years and with the advent of massively parallel architectures, new scalable methods are being sought. Unfortunately, it is still true that in most computer codes, transport is the largest consumer of computational resources. The next generation of 3D large scale computing problems will require advances in both speed and accuracy of transport solutions.

Typically, the numerical methods used in a given discipline are communicated to other researchers in that discipline. Rarely are those methods communicated outside of that specific field. For example, nuclear engineers and astrophysicists rarely attend the same meetings. The current workshop topic hopes to address this discrepancy by providing a forum where computational transport researchers in a variety of disciplines can communicate across disciplinary boundaries their methods and their methods successes and failures. The goal is to open channels of communication and cooperation between all members of the computational transport community so that (1) existing methods used in one field can be applied to other fields (2) greater scientific resource can be brought to bear on the unsolved outstanding problems.

The technical program consists of a series of talks from the fields of astrophysics, atmospheric physics, high energy density physics, mathematics, neutron transport, oceanography, and plant canopies. Each field will have a review speaker who will review their field and speak to the outstanding unsolved problems. Following the review speaker will be a series of invited speakers who will give more in-depth technical details. Again the theme will be what is understood and what outstanding issues are still lurking. Ample time for interaction will also be provided. An open forum with a moderator and a panel consisting of the days’ speakers will provide an environment where audience members and speakers can interact formally. Of course, ample free time will also be provided for informal discussions.

Organizing Committee

Marvin Adams (Texas A&M University)
John Castor (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)
Frank Evans (University of Colorado)
Ivan Hubeny (University of Arizona)
Tom Manteuffel (University of Colorado)
Gordon Olson (Los Alamos National Laboratory)