Workshop IV: Computational Challenges in Warm Dense Matter

May 21 - 25, 2012


Warm Dense Matter (WDM) occupies a loosely defined region of phase space intermediate between solid, liquid, gas, and plasma, and typically shares characteristics of two or more of plws4these phases. WDM is generally associated with the combination of strongly coupled ions and moderately degenerate electrons, and careful attention to quantum physics and electronic structure is essential. The lack of a small perturbation parameter greatly limits approximate attempts at its accurate description. Since WDM resides at the intersection of solid state and high energy density physics, many high energy density physics (HEDP) experiments pass through this difficult region of phase space. Thus, understanding and modeling WDM is key to the success of experiments on diverse facilities. These include the National Ignition Campaign centered on the National Ignition Facility (NIF), pulsed-power driven experiments on the Z machine, ion-beam-driven WDM experiments on the NDCX-II, and fundamental WDM research at the Linear Coherent Light Source (LCLS). Warm Dense Matter is also ubiquitous in planetary science and astrophysics, particularly with respect to unresolved questions concerning the structure and age of the gas giants, the nature of exosolar planets, and the cosmochronology of white dwarf stars.

In the workshop on Computational Challenges in Warm Dense Matter we will explore established and promising approaches to the modeling of WDM, foundational issues concerning the correct theoretical description of WDM, and the challenging practical issues of numerically modeling strongly coupled systems with many degrees of freedom. The list of computational frameworks and methods to be discussed includes:

  • Finite-Temperature Density Functional Theory, including Orbital-Free methods
  • Quantum Monte Carlo, including Path Integral Monte Carlo
  • Wave-Packet Molecular Dynamics
  • Classical and Semi-Classical Molecular Dynamics

The goals of this workshop include fostering increased communication and new collaborations between mathematicians, computer scientists, and physicists; an assessment of the current state of the field and critical experimental tests; a deeper understanding of the formal theoretical and numerical issues concerning the modeling of warm dense matter; and attracting promising young researchers to this difficult and exciting field.

Organizing Committee

Michael Desjarlais (Sandia National Laboratories)
Stephanie Hansen (Sandia National Laboratories)
Michael Murillo (Los Alamos National Laboratory)
Ronald Redmer (Universität Rostock)
Samuel Trickey (University of Florida)