BLAST: High-Order Finite Element Hydrodynamics. Through research funded at LLNL, scientists have developed BLAST, a high-order finite element hydrodynamics research code that improves the accuracy of simulations and provides a viable path to extreme parallel computing and exascale architectures. High-order finite element methods use additional degrees of freedom per computational element (or zone) to increase the accuracy and robustness of simulations relative to low-order methods, which have historically been used. For example, in the image above, a very high-order calculation of a multi-material shock hydrodynamics problem is shown using Q8–Q7 finite elements (eighth-order polynomials for the kinematic fields, seventh-order polynomials for the thermodynamic fields). The high-order finite elements result in highly curved zones and subzonal resolution of the shock waves, which is simply not possible with a low-order method.

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