The Department of Energy supports a spectrum of experimental science, aimed at providing the fundamental advances needed to meet the nation's energy, environmental, and national security challenges. Applied mathematics can play a pivotal role in these investigations. Sophisticated, state-of-the-art mathematics can transform experimental science and further discovery.
Fundamental computational methods are needed to extract information from murky data, interpret experimental results, and provide on-demand analysis as information is being generated. Advanced algorithms can examine candidate materials that are too expensive and time-consuming to manufacture, rapidly find optimal solutions to energy-related challenges, and suggest new experiments for discovery science.
New and clever mathematics will provide tools that can, for example, reconstruct structure and properties from synchrotron light sources, predict behavior of new materials at the nanoscale, direct the hunt for new materials for batteries and gas separation, and optimize steps in the production of biofuels.
The necessary research cuts across traditional boundaries. Building this new mathematics requires a close collaboration between applied mathematicians and scientists. These teams can lay groundwork so that research is aimed at relevant scientific problems which can enhance current experiment. Models need to be formulated, equations need to be derived, and new algorithms need to be proposed.
We have assembled a coordinated team of applied mathematicians, computer scientists, light scientists, materials scientists, and computational chemists.
CAMERA (The Center for Advanced Mathematics for Energy Research Applications) is focused on targeted science problems, with initial involvements aimed at the Advanced Light Source (ALS), Molecular Foundry, and National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM). Together, our goal is to accelerate the transfer of new mathematical ideas to experimental science.
Jump-starting the transition from research to reality
We are seeing brand-new, state-of-the-art mathematics that can be directly applied to challenging scientific problems stemming from experimental research. Traditionally, it takes considerable time for these new ideas to leap to user communities. By bringing mathematicians and experimentalists together, we expect to jump-start this process, and accelerate the early adoption of new mathematics.
Providing a broader view
Existing computational techniques are often tailored to specific needs. In some cases, these approaches may have reached their limit, and cannot easily be extended to complex problems with different requirements. We aim to widen the perspective and devise new, more general models and algorithms which will become standard technologies of tomorrow.