Special Event - Big Data Challenges in Physics


We're very pleased to announce a special evening of talks by invited guests around the theme of big data in science.

This event is supported by the Institute of Physics, and in collaboration with the Cornwall Science Community.


Please note that you do not need to be an expert in data science or physics to enjoy the talks. They will have something for members at all levels to enjoy and take away.


Talk 1:

Using Supercomputers to Search for the Breakdown of the Standard Model of Particle Physics

Dr Craig McNeile, Lecturer in Theoretical Physics, University of Plymouth.

Craig will give a short overview to some of the open questions in particle
physics. He will then discuses the use of High Performance Computing
(HPC) to solve the equations of QCD (one of the theories behind
nuclear physics), and how these calculations are required in searches
for novel fundamental physics theories. He will describe some of the HPC infrastructure, such as the HPC cluster at the University of Plymouth
and the national systems run by the Distributed Research utilizing
Advanced Computing (Dirac) consortium. He will talk about the size
of the data sets generated, and briefly touch on the role of visualisations.


Talk 2:

The Challenge of Storing Ever Bigger Data

Prof Robert J Hicken, Professor of Condensed Matter Physics, University of Exeter

Robert will introduce the challenge of storing ever larger amounts of data. For a sense of scale, consider the number of images and videos being uploaded regularly by billions of users to popular cloud platforms. He will explain the need for new technology that scales to such global scales - but does so with much greater energy efficiency than current technologies. He'll cover recent advances in the use of magnetism and material science to create scalable, fast, and energy efficient storage solutions.

If we're lucky, Robert will also provide a practical demonstration of magnetic effects.



6.00pm - Arrival and networking
6.30pm - Start with IoP and CSC (Robin Johnson) introduction
6.40pm - Talk 1 : Using Supercomputers to Search for the Breakdown of the Standard Model of Particle Physics
7.30pm - Talk 1 Q&A
7.40pm - Talk 2 : The Challenge of Storing Ever Bigger Data
8.30pm - Talk 2 Q&A
8.40 - 9.00pm - networking and further Q&A



You can arrive from 6.00pm for a 6.30pm start.

Car parking is free at the AIR Building visitor car park from 5pm.



Dr. Craig McNeile obtained in PhD in elementary particle theory from the
University of Edinburgh in 1992. His research has focused on solving
QCD (one of the main theories behind nuclear physics) using high
performance computing. He has worked on research contracts at the
Universities of: Kentucky, Utah, Liverpool, Glasgow and Wuppertal.
Since 2013 he has been a lecturer in theoretical physics at the
University of Plymouth.



Prof Hicken's research interests lie in Magnetic Materials and Photonics, with particular emphasis on high frequency processes. His research group uses a combination of microwave and time resolved optical and x-ray measurement techniques to study structural, electrical and magnetic changes in condensed matter systems. Their research is directly relevant to different forms of data storage technology, including hard disk drives, Magnetic Random Access Memory (MRAM) and phase change recording. Dynamic magnetic processes also underlie the operation of spintronic and magnonic devices that show great potential for use in logic and telecommunications applications.