RIKEN Center for Computational Science

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Supercomputer Fugaku

Hitoshi Murayama - Professor of Physics, University of California, Berkeley

photo of Hitoshi Murayama
Hitoshi Murayama
Professor of Physics, University of California, Berkeley

One of the questions I often receive is “Why are there so many amazing discoveries in basic science recently?” Indeed, recent decades have seen major discoveries including Higgs boson, gravitational wave, exoplanets, neutrino oscillation, merger of neutron stars, and dark energy. I answer, “that is because three things have come together.” They are: (1) technologies that enable us to perform difficult experiments; (2) theories that make precise predictions; and (3) computing power that allows us to analyze huge datasets. The latter two depend heavily on the progress of computers. Theories at the forefront of science, like general relativity and quantum field theory, are difficult to work with, and we often rely on large-scale simulations for making precise predictions. To dig out rare discoveries out of data sets as large as DVDs lined up around the planet, we need tremendous computing power. For more breakthroughs in the future, we need to further improve computers. I look forward to welcoming post-K.

(December 2017)