NPL News Now

November 15, 2017
NSF News

On Nov. 8 we submitted our main grant proposal to NSF. This grant, that has been continuously funded since the time of Donald Kerst and the first betatron in the early 1940s supports the work of everyone in our group including faculty, staff, postdocs and students. Because of the size of our request, there will be a site visit by a group of our peers supplemented by one or two people from the Nuclear Physics program office at NSF. This time it will be on Thu. and Fri., Feb. 1 and 2, 2018. We look forward to having everyone contribute and pledge to represent you as well as we possibly can.

This also marks the completion of the NSF nEDM equipment grant (actually May, 2018) and we are in the process of developing a new proposal that is due at NSF by the end of the year. The proposal will again be a collaborative proposal with Caltech and will support both the magnet and 3He subsystems of the experiment. In this case, the request goes to the so-called Midscale Instrumentation Fund; we are hopeful that this second installment of NSF funding for the experiment will also be successful.

October 13, 2017
NPL COMPASS Group Awarded Blue Waters Resource Allocation

The NPL COMPASS group was awarded an approximately 10 million node-hour Petascale Computing Resource Allocation (PRAC) on Blue Waters. The allocation allows the "Mapping of Proton Quark Structure using Petabytes of COMPASS Data". Over two years, experimental data of the years 2015 through 2018 will be processed (calibrated, aligned, and "tracked") and Monte-Carlo data will be simulated at quantities that will keep systematic uncertainties of the physics observables at the minimum level possible. Due to the parallel processing features of Blue Waters, data production is significantly faster than at all other computing farms available to us and collaborators.

The COMPASS experiment located in the North Area of CERN, Switzerland/France, studies the 3D structure of the proton. Tomographic pictures of the proton can be obtained by impinging a high-energetic beam of charged particles onto a fixed target containing protons. Drell-Yan "pion-proton" scattering employing a transversely polarized proton target yields proton slices in quark transverse momentum (2015 and 2018 data), while Deeply Virtual "muon-proton" Compton Scattering using a polarized muon beam results in information about the "impact parameter" of quarks inside the proton (2016 and 2017 data).

COMPASS collects an annual raw dataset of about 1 petabyte. Together with reduced mini-Data Summary Trees (mDSTs) and the simulated data, four years of data will amount to about 10 petabyte. Exploratory studies on COMPASS data transfer and production on Blue Waters were successfully completed in 2016 by Vincent Andrieux, Robert Heitz, Marco Meyer, Matthias Perdekamp and Caroline Riedl.

Announcement of the 3 PRAC 2017 awards:
NPL award: