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Topological visualisation techniques to enhance understanding of lattice QCD simulations / Dean P. Thomas

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DOI (Published version): 10.23889/Suthesis.43497

Abstract

Lattice QCD is an established field of research in theoretical physics in the pursuit of under-standing the strong nuclear force. Despite a long history dating back several decades [1] much of the existing literature relating lattice QCD and computer science focus on the technical as-pects of comput...

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Published: 2018
Institution: Swansea University
Degree level: Doctoral
Degree name: Ph.D
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa43497
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Abstract: Lattice QCD is an established field of research in theoretical physics in the pursuit of under-standing the strong nuclear force. Despite a long history dating back several decades [1] much of the existing literature relating lattice QCD and computer science focus on the technical as-pects of computations. A survey of the use of visualisation techniques in lattice QCD initially returned relatively few results. However, a few examples were found that utilised established volume rendering techniques — showing potential for the use of visualisation in the domain.This thesis presents several contributions based upon topological visualisation techniques with the objective of stimulating interest and discussion within the lattice QCD community. We feel the use of topology, in conjunction with display of observables using volume render-ing techniques, presents a compelling case for inclusion of visualisation in the lattice QCD computation and analysis pipeline. Our decision to use topological visualisation techniques is largely influenced by the need for domain scientists to be able to summarise vast amounts of data using a quantitative approach. Interest in the use of topology as part of the visualisation process was initiated by early meetings with physicists where lattice observables were pre-sented using isosurfaces. Since then regular meetings with active researchers in lattice QCD helped guide the work in reaching this objective.In order to demonstrate the benefits of visualisation, and in particular approaches that rely on scalar topology, we present a range of case studies in this thesis. These demonstrate the application of various algorithms — beginning with an example of how connected contours, as opposed to isosurfaces, can split a scalar field into unique objects. We show how properties of observables can be computed directly using topological persistence measures and by using the meshes constructed from contour generation algorithms. We also show how more recent ad-vances in multivariate topology can assist in the understanding of evolving lattice phenomena. Multivariate topology also presents a unique opportunity for studying the relationship between several fields existing on the lattice. The thesis concludes with the presentation of a custom tool developed specifically to serve the needs of lattice QCD.
Item Description: A selection of third party content is redacted or is partially redacted from this thesis.
Keywords: visualisation, topology, multivariate, lattice QCD
College: College of Science