NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery for 50 Years


NERSC’s Mission

The mission of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is to accelerate scientific discovery at the DOE Office of Science through high performance computing and data analysis. 

Pearlmutter supercomputer cabinet graphic

To underscore its scientific mission, NERSC names its computing systems for prominent researchers. Installed in 2021, the Perlmutter system is named in honor of Berkeley Lab’s Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist Dr. Saul Perlmutter, who shared the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for his contributions to research showing that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.


About Us

As the primary scientific computing facility for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science (SC), NERSC is the principal provider of high performance computing and data resources and services to its six program offices:

  • Advanced Scientific Computing Research,
  • Basic Energy Sciences,
  • Biological and Environmental Research,
  • Fusion Energy Sciences,
  • High Energy Physics, and
  • Nuclear Physics. 

Fundamental to the mission of NERSC is enabling computational science of scale, in which large, interdisciplinary teams of scientists attack fundamental problems in science and engineering that require massive calculations and have broad scientific and economic impacts.

Who Uses NERSC?

Almost 10,000 researchers working on a thousand projects use NERSC to perform unclassified basic scientific research across a wide range of disciplines, including climate modeling, research into new materials, simulations of the early universe, analysis of data from high energy physics experiments, investigations of protein structure, and a host of other scientific endeavors. (NERSC annual reports offer more information about NERSC users and their research.)

All research projects that are funded by the DOE Office of Science and require high performance computing support are eligible to apply to use NERSC resources. Projects that are not funded by the DOE Office of Science but that conduct research that supports the Office of Science mission may also apply.

Enabling Science

Computing is a tool as vital as experimentation and theory in solving the scientific challenges of the twenty-first century. As one of the largest facilities in the world devoted to providing computational resources and expertise for basic scientific research, NERSC is a world leader in accelerating scientific discovery through computation.

NERSC systems are reliable and secure and provide a state-of-the-art scientific development environment with the tools needed by the diverse community of NERSC users. While NERSC is known as one of the best-run scientific computing facilities in the world – it provides some of the largest computing and storage systems available anywhere – what distinguishes the center is its success in creating an environment that makes these resources effective for scientific research.

NERSC offers scientists intellectual services that empower them to be more effective researchers. For example, many of our consultants are themselves domain scientists in areas such as material sciences, physics, chemistry, and astronomy, well-equipped to help researchers apply computational resources to specialized science problems.

A User Facility Grounded in Team Science

A DOE National User Facility, NERSC is operated as a division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), which is known as the “home of team science.”

NERSC is one of four divisions in the Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences Area (CSA), housed in the Shyh Wang Hall computational research and theory facility. The others are the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), another DOE National User Facility, and two research divisions: Scientific Data Division and Applied Mathematics and Computational Research Division.

About NERSC and Berkeley Lab
The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility that serves as the primary high performance computing center for scientific research sponsored by the Office of Science. Located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, NERSC serves almost 10,000 scientists at national laboratories and universities researching a wide range of problems in climate, fusion energy, materials science, physics, chemistry, computational biology, and other disciplines. Berkeley Lab is a DOE national laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy. »Learn more about computing sciences at Berkeley Lab.