November 29, 2023

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

HKU Physicists Deploy New Advanced Computing System

Image Credits: HKU, Press Release

Today, many ground-breaking discoveries are made in science via numerical computation. This enables scientists to capture the complex, quantum and non-linear physical interactions happening in the universe from galactic to sub-atomic scales.

In this way, scientific computation has become an equally important means as compared with traditional theoretical and experimental research, and high-performance computing (HPC) facilities have also become a necessity for pushing the frontiers of scientific discoveries.

To pursue advances in astronomy, quantum physics, and interdisciplinary science, research teams led by Dr Jane DAI and Dr Zi Yang MENG from the Department of Physics, the University of Hong Kong (HKU), worked together to deploy a new supercomputing system, named ‘Blackbody’ supercomputer. The name stems from their respective research topics of ‘Black hole’ and ‘Quantum many-body physics’ at HKU. The system has been set up in the fall of 2022 and is currently in full operation.

The launch of the new computing system provides enormous computational capabilities for researchers to develop novel numerical codes and perform large-scale simulations, which will be used to tackle some of the most complex problems in the quantum physics and astronomy domains.

Dr Jane Dai’s research on black hole astrophysics

Dr Dai’s team has developed and employed several state-of-the-art general relativistic and Monte Carlo codes to study physics around astrophysical black holes. They focus on understanding how materials orbit around black holes, accrete onto black holes and produce energetic outputs in this process. Their simulations help push forward the theoretical understanding of various black hole astrophysical systems such as tidal disruption events, X-ray binaries and active galactic nuclei, which are some of the most luminous sources in the universe.

Their results are also relevant for the cosmological evolution of black holes and their evolution together with galaxies since the beginning of the universe. In addition to theoretical explorations, the team also collaborates with world-leading astronomers to provide models and interpretations for their observations and help design next-generation telescopes at NASA.

Dr Zi Yang Meng’s research on quantum many-body physics

Dr Meng’s team develops explainable-AI techniques such as the quantum Monte Carlo algorithm and the tensor-network approaches to identify better and more effective models and to solve them to reveal fundamental mechanisms of quantum many-body systems such as non-Fermi-liquid in quantum critical metals, highly entangled quantum matter and topological ordered states and quantum moire 2D materials such magic-angle twisted bilayer graphene.

Their research works provide the most accurate solutions and new understandings for the frontier quantum materials in which millions of electrons are strongly interacting with each other on the quantum scale, they are crucial for the development of next-generation technologies in hope of addressing the new challenges in the the world, such as developing new computing chips breakthrough the limit of Moore’s law and building lossless energy transmission systems using high-temperature superconductors.

With the help of the Blackbody supercomputer, the research teams are well equipped now to solve larger and more complex problems in astronomy and quantum physics.

He noted that this cluster will greatly aid the teams’ research programs in the next couple of years whose progress has been constrained by computational resources and now we finally have the necessary tool to conduct simulations and convert ideas to results. To set up this cluster, a few grants obtained from the HK RGC, NSFC and HKU were put together.

It was noted that modern science research needs to combine experimental, theoretical, and more importantly, computational approaches, the Blackbody computing machines will allow incredibly accurate numerical results with significant predictions, which provides a bridge way to connect traditional theory and experiment studies. Such a new paradigm of research will lead to more profound and impactful discoveries in quantum physics and astronomy.

The Blackbody is funded through the HKU Small Equipment Grant (with Co-Is Dr Man Hoi LEE from the Department of Earth Sciences and Dr Jun YANG from the Department of Chemistry), NSFC Excellent Young Scientist Fund, RGC Area of Excellence, and start-up funding from the Faculty of Science.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

Send this to a friend