Welcome to the FLASH center

The Flash Center for Computational Science is the home of several cross-disciplinary computational research projects, and FLASH, a publicly available multiphysics multiscale simulation code with a wide international user base. Research projects include high-energy density physics, thermonuclear-powered supernovae, exascale computing co-design, fluid-structure interactions, and development of implicit solvers for "stiff" systems.

The Center was originally funded for more than a decade by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) under the Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) Academic Strategic Alliance Program. The Center is now funded by DOE NNSA ASC and DOE Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research in the Office of Science; and the Astronomy & Astrophysics, Office of Cyberinfrastructure/PetaApps, and Physics at the Information Frontier Programs at NSF.

The Center is based at the University of Chicago and involves a collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory.


The Flash Center has released a new version of FLASH, FLASH 4.0, on September 14, 2012. This version builds upon the capabilities for simulating high-energy density physics (HEDP) experiments first introduced in FLASH4-alpha. The latest released version is FLASH 4.2.2.

The addition of HEDP capabilities to FLASH is part of the Flash Center's HEDP initiative, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Simulation and Computing Program in the National Nuclear Security Administration. The objective of the initiative is to make FLASH a highly capable toolset for the academic HEDP community that performs well on current and future platforms.

High-energy density physics deals with matter that is both very hot and very dense. The FLASH code will support academic HEDP research at a variety of laboratories, including major national facilities such as the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories and the Omega Laser Facility at the University of Rochester. These facilities generate conditions that allow scientists to investigate and address important issues in areas such as astrophysics, material science, planetary science and fusion energy.

The new HEDP capabilities in FLASH are already being used in collaborations with the Center for Radiative Shock Hydrodynamics (CRASH) at the University of Michigan to model radiative shock experiments being conducted at the Omega Laser Facility at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics in Rochester, NY (see sidebar); with the HEDP Group at Ohio State University to model the pre-plasmas produced by short-pulse lasers, including the Scarlet Laser ; with the Fusion Technology Institute at the University of Wisconsin to model the behavior of exploding targets in a gas-filled chamber as proposed for LIFE; and with Gianluca Gregori's HED Laboratory Astrophysics Group at the University of Oxford to model the generation and amplification of magnetic fields by laser-driven shocks in experiments being conducted at the Laboratoire pour l'Ultilisation de Lasers Intenses in Paris, France and the Vulcan Laser at the Central Laser Facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the United Kingdom.
FLASH HEDP Simulation
FLASH moderate-fidelity simulation of the radiative shock experiment being conducted by the Center for Radiative Shock Hydrodynamics (CRASH) at the University of Michigan. In the experiment, a laser deposits energy in a thin Beryllium disk, driving a shock down a plastic cylinder filled with Xenon gas. In the simulation, the piston effect of the Be disk is modeled by shifting to a frame moving with the velocity of the shock and imposing a reflection boundary condition at the bottom of the computational domain. The two images show the resulting density and temperature of the Xenon gas. For more about the experiment, see F. W. Doss et al., Physics of Plasmas, 16, 112705 (2009).