QCDVis: a tool for the visualisation of Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) Data

Rita Borgo, Dean Thomas, Robert S. Laramee, Simon Hands

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Quantum chromodynamics, most commonly referred to as QCD, is a relativistic quantum field theory for the strong interaction between subatomic particles called quarks and gluons. The most systematic way of calculating the strong interactions of QCD is a computational approach known as lattice gauge theory or lattice QCD. Space-time is discretised so that field variables are formulated on the sites and links of a four dimensional hypercubic lattice. This technique enables the gluon field to be represented using 3 3 complex matrices in four space-time dimensions. Importance sampling techniques can then be exploited to calculate physics observables as functions of the fields, averaged over a statistically-generated and suitably weighted ensemble of field configurations. In this paper we present a framework developed to visually assist scientists in the analysis of multidimensional properties and emerging phenomena within QCD ensemble simulations. Core to the framework is the use of topology-driven visualisation techniques which enable the user to segment the data into unique objects, calculate properties of individual objects present on the lattice, and validate features detected using statistical measures. The framework enables holistic analysis to validate existing hypothesis against novel visual cues with the intent of supporting and steering scientists in the analysis and decision making process. Use of the framework has lead to new studies into the eect that variation of thermodynamic control parameters has on the topological structure of lattice fields.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-126
Number of pages12
JournalComputers & Graphics-Uk
Early online date11 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Lattice QCD
  • Scientific visualization
  • Data visualization
  • Flexible isosurface
  • Topology
  • Contour nets


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