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InTheLoop Extra | 11.09.2003

The Weekly Electronic Newsletter for Berkeley Lab Computing Sciences Employees

November 9, 2003

Scientific Results from CCSE Codes Featured in NY Times Article, IBM SC2004 Demo

Scientific results computed with the use of codes developed by the Lab's Center for Computational Sciences and Engineering (CCSE) are being featured in today's New York Times science section and in a live demo being run this week by IBM at the SC2004 conference in Pittsburgh.

The Times article (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/09/science/space/09supe.html) shows an image of Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities in type Ia supernovae that was calculated at NERSC using CCSE's low-Mach-number combustion code adapted for supernova microphysics. The article focuses on the open question of what kind of combustion phenomenon (deflagration, detonation, or a combination of the two) accounts for the stellar explosion. The 3D calculation that produced the flame front image is the subject of the latest paper (in preparation) in a series on this topic by John Bell, Marc Day, and Chuck Rendleman of CCSE and Stan Woosley and Mike Zingale of UC Santa Cruz. The article also features the work of the University of Chicago's Center for Astrophysical Thermonuclear Flashes, whose 3D simulations are being computed at NERSC as part of DOE's INCITE program.

At the SC2004 conference, IBM is using a code called Raptor to run live demos on 128 processors of a Blue Gene system. (BlueGene/L won the number one spot on the new TOP500 list of the world's fastest computers that was released yesterday; see http://www.top500.org/.) The demo shows the interface between a light gas and a heavy gas accelerated by a shock wave. Raptor is a multi-physics Eulerian adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) code developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory based on CCSE's AMR software libraries. Raptor simulates shock-driven instabilities and turbulence in fields such as astrophysics and inertial confinement fusion.

A separate story in today's issue of the Times reports a warning from a panel of leading computer scientists that unless the federal government significantly increases support for advanced research on supercomputing, the United States will be unable to retain its lead on that technological front. See http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/09/technology/09compute.html.

About Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences organization provides the computing and networking resources and expertise critical to advancing the Department of Energy's research missions: developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, developing new materials and increasing our understanding of ourselves, our world and our universe.

ESnet, the Energy Sciences Network, provides the high-bandwidth, reliable connections that link scientists at 40 DOE research sites to each other and to experimental facilities and supercomputing centers around the country. The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) powers the discoveries of 7,000-plus scientists at national laboratories and universities, including those at Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division (CRD). CRD conducts research and development in mathematical modeling and simulation, algorithm design, data storage, management and analysis, computer system architecture and high-performance software implementation. NERSC and ESnet are Department of Energy Office of Science User Facilities.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world's most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab's scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the DOE’s Office of Science.

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.