The DiRAC HPC Facility provides the computing resources underpinning STFC’s Frontier Science theory programme in Astronomy, Cosmology, Nuclear and Particle Physics, and Solar and Planetary Science. 

The big questions addressed include: 

  • How did the Universe begin and how is it evolving? 
  • How do stars and planetary systems develop and is life unique to our planet? 
  • What are the fundamental constituents and fabric of the Universe and how do they interact? 
  • How can we explore and understand the extremes of the Universe?

These issues span length scales varying over 50 orders of magnitude, from the largest structures in the Universe down to the interiors of subatomic particles. Common themes of DiRAC-based resarch include: precision calculations to providing stringent tests of our theories against experiment or observation; quantitative understanding of the consequences of new physical laws; and the development of novel simulation and analysis techniques to open new windows onto Nature at both ends of the length-scale spectrum.


Each year all running DiRAC projects are asked to submit a brief report consisting of a single page of text and one image or graphic highlighting recent progress, for display on the website. Taken as a whole the Highlights by now form an invaluable, searchable, archive conveying the breadth and scope of DiRAC research — in many cases it is also possible to trace technical and conceptual developments as they happened.



This quarterly video feature takes an in-depth view of a current DiRAC project, learning more about the science questions being addressed, why they’re important, and how DiRAC facilities and resources are helping. The Principal Investigator and their research team are introduced to explain the work at first hand; we also hear from them about their motivations and the route which led them into becoming a scientist working with DiRAC. There are also pointers to recent publications and how to find out more


DiRAC anually invites researchers to submit aesthetically inspiring and scientifically interesting imagery generated using the DiRAC facility during the previous three years. With two categories: particle and nuclear physics images; and astronomy, cosmology and solar & planetary science images, the full range of submitted images and the theme winners can be found here. 


DiRAC Science Day is an annual meeting where our community gathers at a location in the UK for a day of topical talks, catching up, and networking. There are opportunities to meet technical support teams for DiRAC Resources in person, hear exciting news from research consortia working across the DiRAC facility, and interact with leading representatives from the computer industry. A popular institution is the research poster presentation, with prizes awarded to the best contributions from students and early career researchers.