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Permafrost creates a polygonal landscape, irregularity that makes simulating thawing’s impact on climate change a challenge requiring advanced algorithms and high-performance computers. (Photo: Konstanze Piel, Alfred Wegener Institute.)

After the thaw

February 19th, 2014 Updated: February 19th, 2014

Simulations of melting permafrost promise changes in climate modeling.

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A cosmological simulation with the Nyx code. The white lines represent the edges of a small sample of the universe, about 50 million light years on a side, at redshift about 3.5 billion years after the Big Bang. Shown are baryons at two different densities: blue is about twice the mean baryon density in the universe; the yellow is about 10 times. The blue regions approximate areas that give rise to the Lyman-Alpha forest signal; yellow is a rough representation of regions where gas coalesces into galaxies. (Simulation by Zarija Lukić, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Image by Casey Stark, University of California, Berkeley.)

Rewinding the universe

December 17th, 2013 Updated: December 18th, 2013

Dark energy propels the universe to expand faster and faster. Researchers are using simulations to test different conceptions about how this happens.

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Filling in the blanks

November 27th, 2012 Updated: November 27th, 2012

To prevent important information from being missed, a Berkeley Lab team is improving how supercomputers divvy up the ponderous tasks surrounding large simulations’ analytics and visualization.

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(a) Traditional approaches to address volume-change in battery materials use acetylene black as the conductive additive and PVDF polymer as the mechanical binder. (b) Conductive polymer with dual functionality, as a conductor and binder, could keep both the electric and mechanical integrity of the electrode during the battery cycles. (c) PF-type conductive polymers' molecular structure, with two key function groups in PFFOMB (carbonyl and methylbenzoic ester) tailor the conduction band and improve the mechanical binding force. (Click to enlarge schematic, courtesy of Lin-Wang Wang, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.)

Power boost

January 19th, 2012 Updated: January 19th, 2012

Berkeley scientists have combined computational modeling and advanced materials synthesis to devise a low-cost anode that bolsters the feasibility of long-life lithium-ion batteries.

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A visualization of a lean hydrogen flame simulation shows three computed fields simultaneously. A bowl-shaped turbulent flame floats over the exit flow from a pipe that is swirling as it moves upward. The gray filaments at the bottom depict regions of high turbulence, the transparent red surface highlights the mixing region between the fuel from the pipe and the air outside, and the purple-to-red zone shows the concentration of nitrogen-based emissions from the flame.

Helping hydrogen along

October 5th, 2011 Updated: November 30th, 2011

Researchers have pursued clean hydrogen-based fuels for years. A Berkeley Lab team hopes to spur that quest with help from one of the world’s most powerful computers.

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Nanostructural problem-solvers

December 1st, 2009 Updated: March 16th, 2011

Computation ferrets out emergent behaviors of novel materials built from tiny blocks.

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