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A Better Way to ID Extreme Weather Events in Climate Models

December 7, 2011

You’d think that spotting a category 5 hurricane would never be difficult. But when the hurricane is in a global climate model that spans several decades, it becomes a fleeting wisp among mountains of data. Read More »

Ten Billion Light Years Away, A Gang of Supernovae Reveals a Cosmic Secret

November 10, 2011

An international team of astronomers has exposed the largest sample of distant supernovae ever found—150 events, many of which are located about 10 billion light years away from Earth. These events reveal that a particular breed of cosmic explosions, called Type 1a supernovae, occurred five times more frequently when the universe was young than they do today. The paper, authored by a team of American, Israeli and Japanese astronomers, was published in the October 2011 issue of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS). Read More »

Berkeley Lab to have Strong Presence at SC11 Conference

November 10, 2011

Once again, scientists and engineers from Berkeley Lab are making significant contributions to the SC11 Technical Program, sharing their expertise and experience with thousands of attendees at the annual conference sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society and ACM SIGARCH. SC11 will be held Nov. 12-16 in Seattle.SC11 Technical Program Sessions with Berkeley Lab Contributors TECHNICAL PAPERSThe SC11 Technical Papers program received 352 high quality submissions covering a variety of advanced… Read More »

Accelerating Advanced Material Development

October 31, 2011

New materials are crucial to building a clean energy economy—for everything from batteries to photovoltaics to lighter weight vehicles—but today the development cycle is too slow: around 18 years from conception to commercialization. To speed up this process, a team of researchers from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) teamed up to develop a new computational tool. Called the Materials Project, it launches this month. Read More »

Experimental Mathematics: Computing Power Leads to Insights

October 13, 2011

Providence, RI—In his 1989 book "The Emperor's New Mind," Roger Penrose commented on the limitations on human knowledge with a striking example: He conjectured that we would most likely never know whether a string of 10 consecutive 7s appears in the digital expansion of the number pi. Just 8 years later, Yasumasa Kanada used a computer to find exactly that string, starting at the 17387594880th digit of pi. Penrose was certainly not alone in his inability to foresee the tremendous power that computers would soon possess. Read More »

Computational Research Division Announces Reorganization

October 12, 2011

David Brown, who recently joined Berkeley Lab as director of the Computational Research Division (CRD), announced a reorganization of the division on Oct. 12. The reorganization is aimed at balancing the size and research areas of the departments within CRD. Read More »

NERSC Played Key Role in Nobel Laureate’s Discovery

October 4, 2011

In the 1990s, Saul Perlmutter discovered that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. He confirmed his observational conclusions by running thousands of simulations at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). As a result of this groundbreaking work, Perlmutter was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics. His research team is believed to have been the first to use supercomputers to analyze and validate observational data in cosmology. This melding of computational science and cosmology sowed the seeds for more projects, establishing Berkeley Lab and NERSC as centers for the emerging field. Read More »

Turning Grass into Gas for Less

September 30, 2011

Pull up to the pump these days and chances are your gas will be laced with ethanol, a biofuel made from corn. Corn-ethanol is relatively easy to make, but with growing populations and shrinking farmland, there will never be enough of the starchy food crop to both feed and fuel the world. Read More »

A Better Lithium-ion Battery on the Way

September 23, 2011

Lithium-ion batteries are everywhere, in smart phones, laptops, an array of other consumer electronics, and the newest electric cars. Good as they are, they could be much better, especially when it comes to lowering the cost and extending the range of electric cars. To do that, batteries need to store a lot more energy. Read More »

Lin Lin, 2011 Alvarez Fellow

September 22, 2011

As a 2011 Luis W. Alvarez Fellow, Lin Lin will apply mathematical tools to solve real world problems in computational physics, chemistry and material science. He is specifically interested in the electronic structure analysis of complex materials. Read More »