MIT’s Dragos Velicanu is helping sort through data from the Large Hadron Collider for clues to the mysteries surrounding the strong force and the early universe.
Dragos Velicanu likes to look at just about everything from a fresh perspective. “Outside work, I like to travel, go camping, hiking, skiing – basically see the world from all elevations, seasons and angles,” says the Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship recipient at MIT. What’s more, he’s fortunate that his advisor is Gunther [...]
A new Sandia National Laboratories-based approach to fusion that’s shown promise in computational simulations has passed its first bricks-and-mortar experimental test. MagLIF (Magnetized Liner Inertial Fusion) envisions using Sandia’s Z machine as a massive magnetic vise to implode, and thus heat, a tiny cylinder full of deuterium to Sun-like temperatures, igniting a fusion reaction. “I [...]
The discovery of that our universe is expanding at an accelerating rate garnered a 2011 Nobel Prize for Saul Perlmutter of the Supernova Cosmology Project at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, but the finding also opened up a plethora of new questions about what is happening in the far reaches of deep space. There, researchers glimpse [...]
Speed kills, as the slogan says, and in computers what it kills could be disease. Argonne National Laboratory researcher Andrew Binkowski’s calculations of protein structure help find ligands – smaller molecules – that attach to them, to deliver drugs that stop dangerous infections. But without supercomputers it could take months to model a single ligand, [...]
In 2007, when Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers calculated that adding boron would bend carbon nanotubes, they did little with the information. Boron was one of several elements the computational scientists plugged into their model as they investigated ways to induce useful changes in nanotube structures. There were experiments to compare with the results [...]
Plasmas are the purview of Livermore scientist and Computational Science Graduate Fellowship alumnus Jeffrey Hittinger. He works both sides of the fusion street – inertial confinement and magnetic confinement – while simulating aspects of these tremendously hot, fast-moving particle clouds.
The mantis shrimp packs one of the strongest punches on Earth. Computational Science Graduate Fellow Michael Rosario is investigating the physics, design and material properties behind the crustacean’s prey-crunching wallop. His research has landed him on the National Geographic Wild channel.
Klaus Mueller’s latest n-dimensional visualization work capitalizes on a decade-long collaboration with Department of Energy atmospheric chemist Alla Zelenyuk, work aimed at seeing the proverbial forest amidst trees of data. At DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Zelenyuk specializes in using single-particle mass spectrometry to analyze the real-time transformations of nanoparticles. This includes atmospheric particles, such [...]
For one summer, Sarah Richardson postponed her work computerizing yeast genome research and probed bacteria instead. As part of her Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship, Richardson served a 2009 practicum under Adam Arkin, director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Physical Biosciences Division. She made important contributions to Arkin’s research into an RNA-based transcription [...]
While others predicted when oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico might reach beaches, ocean modelers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the National Center for Atmospheric Research asked when gushing oil might exit the Gulf, where it would go and how diluted it’d be, up to a year later.
National Center for Atmospheric Research oceanographer Synte Peacock studies “the distribution of various tracers – something that tags a water mass and is carried around by ocean currents – to learn more about ocean circulation in the past and present.” These tracers include carbon and radiocarbon isotopes, paleotracers (fossils from the sea, in sediments and [...]
Thousands of tiny systems called atomic nuclei – specific combinations of protons and neutrons – prove extremely difficult to study but have big implications for nuclear stockpile stewardship. To describe all of the nuclei and the reactions between them, a nationwide collaboration is devising powerful algorithms that run on high-performance computers.
Density functional theory (DFT) can be used to determine densities of protons and neutrons making up a nucleus. “If we can determine those densities precisely,” says Witold Nazarewicz, professor of physics at the University of Tennessee, “we can determine the binding energy – the energy stored in the nucleus.” The energy density functional (EDF) in [...]