Chapter 432: Supercomputing Application
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
After receiving Lu Zhous reply, Carlson basically didnt have any hope. The Millennium Prize Problem ceremony was put to a hold.
However, someone might have leaked the news of the Clay Institutes original award ceremony plans.
Then the rumors ended up being that Lu Zhou had rejected the award.
Ever since the NavierStokes equation was solved, the media had been paying attention to the million-dollar Millennium Prize Problem award. After all, for people that didnt study mathematics, a million-dollar award was much more shocking than the solution to the NavierStokes equation
The New York Times reporters comments.
[ After Perelman, a Russian mathematician, refused the million-dollar award, Chinese mathematician Lu Zhou also refused the award. There seems to be a magical curse attached to the Millennium Prize Problems as everyone that solves the problems seems to lose interest in money?]
Hardy handed the newspaper article to Lu Zhou, and after Lu Zhou finished reading it, he threw it in the garbage bin and shook his head.
Its absolute nonsense! When did I refuse the award? I only told Clay Institute to wait for a bit as Ive been very busy recently. I dont have time to fly to Paris.
Hardy: Professor, did you dismiss the Clay Institutes prize money because you dont have time to go there?
Lu Zhou corrected him. I postponed it, not dismissed.
Hardy shrugged and said, Okay, postponed Professor, actually I have a suggestion, I dont know if I should say it.
Lu Zhou looked at Hardy and asked, What suggestion?
Hardy scratched his head and smiled as he said, What Im saying is, if you dont have the time, I can go to Paris and accept the prize for you. Youre busy with research, but I dont mind traveling
This dude has too much free time!
The rumors about Lu Zhou was only a minor disturbance.
Lu Zhou was busy with plasma turbulence research, and he didnt have time to go do some press conference and clear this boring matter.
Solving the NavierStokes equation didnt only cause Lu Zhou to receive excessive media and award ceremony attention, but it also gave him other troubles.
For example, ever since he returned to America with the Fields Medal, his email had been filled with invitations from various places.
Some of which were from domestic and foreign research institutes, some were from the top 100 mathematics universities, and some werent even from the academic field; there were invitations for a TV show and a talk show
Once Lu Zhou left Xiao Ai to sort through these emails, he felt a lot more relaxed.
In addition to rejecting people and dealing with the spams, Xiao Ai was basically his personal assistant. As demonstrated, Xiao Ai had become more and more intelligent.
After solving these trivial matters, Lu Zhou returned to his research on the plasma turbulence problem.
It was worth mentioning that the difficulty of the turbulence problem was divided into two parts.
The first part mainly came from the complexity of the system itself and the environment around the system as well as the difficulty that arose from the diversity of the turbulent motion system as a whole.
Take a spacecraft as an example. As the altitude, speed, or even location and material surface temperature changed, the gas and macromechanical environment around the spacecraft was also constantly changing.
The second part came from the methodology of classical physics.
Traditional reductionism started from the most basic components of the material dynamics and established the equations of motion from the basic interaction laws. This sounded simple. After all, most classical physics formulas didnt even require advanced physics.
However, in the world of physics, more is complex.
Take an aircraft as an example, the flow field around the aircraft contains 10^15~10^24 microfluids, and each microfluid had to be individually mechanically analyzed. The interaction forces between the microfluids also had to be considered, and this problem couldnt be solved even with the entire worlds computing resources.
Due to its complexity, most models made by computational fluid dynamics researchers were phenomenon-based. Therefore, different scholars using the same computational fluid dynamics modeling method could get different results.
Because of this, turbulence computational fluid dynamics modeling based on a closed model was often considered an art rather than hard science.
The reason why people were so obsessed with a smooth solution to the NavierStokes equation was not only because they wanted to find out if such a solution existed, but they also wanted to know what mathematicians would find out while researching this problem.
The mathematicians might find out a structural quantity between the subsonic zone and sonic zone, or an approximate weak form in a limited range. Or in the case of L Manifold, the L Manifold differential geometry method that could be used on partial differential equations.
For the plasma inside the stellarator, the first complexity part was relatively easy to deal with. Although plasma wasnt stable under high temperatures and pressures, at least the macro-plasma circulation was relatively uniform.
The second type of complexity problem was much more cumbersome.
However, this was only difficult for normal people.
After Lu Zhou applied the L Manifold into the NavierStokes equation and built a mathematical model based on differential geometry experimental data, he found out that although the process was difficult, the end result wasnt as complex as he had imagined.
Time quickly flew by.
Lu Zhou sat in his office at Princeton Institute for Advanced Study while he stared at his computer screen. From time to time, he would write on a draft paper with the pen in his hand.
After he entered the final line of calculations on the computer, he finally let out a sigh of relief and put down his ballpoint pen.
When Hardy heard his professors voice, he looked up with a confused expression. He made eye contact with Qin Yue before he looked back down again.
Jerick and Vera also looked at Lu Zhou with worship. Especially Vera, her eyes were almost twinkling with stars.
Although she didnt know what her professor was doing, she felt like her professor was doing something amazing.
As for Wei Wen, he was writing his masters thesis while completely ignoring the commotion around him. He wanted to finish his masters this year and start his PhD next year, so he wasnt concerned with Lu Zhous work.
All he knew was that his professor was researching something nutty again
Lu Zhou didnt notice his students reaction; he quickly double-checked his mathematical model and then copied the data onto a USB. He took the USB and quickly left the office.
Equation derivation could be done by a human brain, but whenever a numerical solution was concerned, the calculations were beyond the capabilities of a human.
In order to verify his mathematical model and to collect some firsthand simulation data, Lu Zhou needed a supercomputer.
The faster the computer, the better!
As one of the richest universities in North America, Princetons wealth wasnt only reflected in its willingness to poach talented people, but also its campus hardware facilities.
Although Princeton was a small town, there was everything from plasma laboratories to supercomputers centers.
This showed how important having a financially strong alumni association was for a university.
Princetons supercomputer was at the John von Neumann Center; it was mainly used for simulations in condensed matter physics, plasma physics, and cosmic mechanics.
Lu Zhou was acquainted with a big name in the parallel computing fieldDavid Shaw.
However, Antons supercomputing powers only excelled in the computational chemistry field; it wasnt ideal for general computing.
Not to mention, David Shaw might not be interested in plasma physics or fluid dynamics simulation. Therefore, Lu Zhou didnt want to bother him.
Lu Zhou didnt have to wait long after he filled in the application form in Nassau Hall. He quickly received approval from the school.
Any research project linked to the PPPL had the highest priority.
Not to mention, the researcher was a Fields Medal winner.
Lu Zhou took the relevant documents to the John von Neumann Center and the director of the center, Amer Green. He told Amer Green about his intentions.
After hearing Lu Zhous request, Green was full of surprise.
Unbelievable Are you sure youre not kidding? You successfully built a mathematical model for plasma turbulence in a stellarator?
Although Green wasnt a physicist, he still knew how amazing this achievement was.
Lu Zhou sighed and waved the application approval document in his hand as he said, Its still six months until April Fools, Im not joking.
Professor Green didnt waste a second. He switched on his work computer and said, Did you bring the model?
Lu Zhou put the USB on the table and said, Of course.
Green plugged the USB into the computer and opened the files inside. He looked at the data and images on the computer screen and rubbed his beard. He thought for a bit before he said, To put it bluntly, this is difficult. Im not sure John Neumann has the capabilities to withstand computing on this magnitude. You might need something like the Summit supercomputer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Are you sure you cant simplify the model?
Lu Zhou shook his head and said, Thats the most I can simplify it.
Okay then, you have given us a difficult problem on behalf of PPPL. Professor Green spun the pen in his hand and said, I can solve the algorithm part, but dont expect results anytime soon.
Lu Zhou nodded and said, I know, I will also help you guys.
Professor Green smiled and said, Of course! After all, we do massively parallel computing; were no plasma physicists.