Flash 4-alpha

The University of Chicago’s Flash Center for Computational Science has released a new version of supercomputer code, called Flash 4-alpha. Based on previous software for simulating exploding stars, this is the first version of the Flash code that has extensive capabilities for simulating high-energy density physics experiments. The US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration Advanced Simulation and Computing Program has funded the addition of the new capabilities to this software, which will help scientists at universities across America better understand the fundamental properties of matter at high densities and high temperatures.

‘The enhanced Flash code is an open toolset for designing and analysing experiments that address questions about the nature of planetary interiors, the creation of elements via nuclear processes, and how matter behaves in violent shocks and other extreme conditions,’ said Don Lamb, Flash Center director and the Robert A. Millikan Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics.

The code will support academic HEDP research at a variety of laboratories, including major facilities such as the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico and the Omega Laser Facility at the University of Rochester, USA. The new software is a collaboration between the Center, the Computation Institute and Argonne National Laboratory. DOE funding for the initiative is through the Argonne Institute for Computing in Science.

Analysis and opinion

Robert Roe investigates some of the European projects focusing on preparing today’s supercomputers and HPC programmers for exascale HPC


The Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) at Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany has been operating supercomputers of the highest performance class since 1987. Tim Gillett talks to Norbert Attig and Thomas Eickermann


Gemma Church investigates how simulation and modelling de-risks the detection and extraction of geothermal energy resources


Robert Roe investigates the importance of upgrading legacy laboratory informatics systems and the benefits this provides to scientists