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Predicting presidents, storms and life by computer

November 12, 2012 11:09 am | by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer | News | Comments

Over the course of two weeks this fall, computer models made a startling sequence of correct and useful predictions. By running thousands of simulations on polling data, Nate Silver correctly forecasted how all 50 states would vote for president. In the case of Hurricane Sandy, meteorologists identified the potential danger to the Northeast nearly a week before the storm arrived. Computer models of many kinds have improved in recent years, and the approach is finding new, unexpected uses.

A new way of making glass

November 9, 2012 10:46 am | News | Comments

A new way to make glass has been discovered by a collaboration of researchers at the Universities of Düsseldorf and Bristol using a method that controls how the atoms within a substance are arranged around each other. The researchers created the new type of glass in a computer through encouraging atoms in a nickel-phosphorous alloy to form a polyhedron.

New study helps reveal how friction works at the nanoscale

November 8, 2012 12:13 pm | News | Comments

Recent work by scientists in Italy provides a new tool to better understand how sliding friction works in nanotribology, through colloidal crystals. By theoretically studying these systems of charged microparticles, researchers are able to analyze friction forces through molecular dynamics simulations with accuracy never experienced before.

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Millimeter-wave oscillation possible in ferromagnetic nanocontact device

November 8, 2012 8:47 am | News | Comments

Conventional giant magnetoresistive devices or ferromagnetic tunnel junction devices provide only low frequency oscillation and have been deemed unsuitable for applications requiring millimeter-wave (30-300 GHz) oscillation, including radar. Researchers in Japan have recently demonstrated, however, that oscillations of 5 to 140 GHz is theoretically possible in these devices by supplying direct current.

New computational method for timing the Tree of Life

November 6, 2012 11:25 am | News | Comments

With its deeply embedded roots, sturdy trunk, and dense profusion of branches, the Tree of Life is a structure of nearly unfathomable complexity and beauty. While major strides have been made to establish the evolutionary hierarchy encompassing every living species, the project is still in its infancy. At Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute, Sudhir Kumar has been filling in the Tree of Life by developing sophisticated methods and bioinformatics tools.

Complex composite study to use MSC Nastran, Marc sim tools

October 30, 2012 4:37 pm | News | Comments

MSC Software Corporation this week announced that Stanford University is using its MSC Nastran and Marc simulation tools to conduct a new study on the testing and analysis of complex composite materials. The goals of the study are to reduce extensive and expensive testing programs, optimize the design of testing configurations and redefine structural deformation and failure processes.

Modeling feat sheds light on protein channel's function

October 19, 2012 7:39 am | News | Comments

Chemists at the California Institute of Technology have managed, for the first time, to simulate the biological function of a channel called the Sec translocon, which allows specific proteins to pass through membranes. The feat required bridging timescales from the realm of nanoseconds all the way up to full minutes, exceeding the scope of earlier simulation efforts by more than six orders of magnitude.

October 2012 Issue of R&D Magazine

October 10, 2012 1:15 pm | Digital Editions | Comments

In this month's issue of R&D Magazine the editors explore the instrumentation and business strategies that help bring nanotechnology to the marketplace. Other features on dynamic light scattering, reverse engineering, click chemistry, product development, rapid prototyping, and simulation software are also included.

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Simulation-Based Engineering

October 10, 2012 9:22 am | by Cathleen Lambertson, Contributing Editor, Comsol Inc. | Articles | Comments

Simulation-based engineering design helped generate a first physical prototype of a microchannel heat exchanger.

Breaking Down the Barriers to Simulation

October 9, 2012 1:50 pm | by Luke Mihelcic, Simulation Product Marketing Executive, Autodesk | Articles | Comments

Simulation tools have evolved from complicated, pricey programs to intelligent tools for use throughout the R&D process.

Simulation Software Can Help Predict the Future

October 9, 2012 1:43 pm | by Stephen Endersby, Product Manager, SolidWorks | Articles | Comments

In the past, designers relied on numerous prototype rounds and tests to determine a design's feasibility. Despite technological advancements, many organizations continue to rely on spreadsheets or hand calculations during the design process. This approach may have worked in the past, but modern business speeds require a more efficient approach to product design.

New Methods for Modeling Physical Systems

October 9, 2012 1:01 pm | by Maplesoft | Articles | Comments

Current engineering practices create computer models that are numerical in nature to explore different design concepts and evaluate their performance. However, a more natural way to model a system is to use mathematics.

Simulating Pipeline Rupture with Finite Element Analysis

October 9, 2012 12:47 pm | by Lance Hill, ME, Technical Expert, Simulia North American Energy Industry | Articles | Comments

FEA predicts the initiation and evolution of damage in metals, providing an alternative to laboratory structural testing.

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Reducing Development Time in Thermal Imaging FPGAs

October 9, 2012 12:30 pm | by Sudhir Sharma, Product Marketing Manager, MathWorks | Articles | Comments

An imaging systems developer accelerated the implementation of advanced thermal imaging filters and algorithms on FPGA hardware.

CFD Simulation Key for Supersonic UAV

October 9, 2012 12:20 pm | by Scott Imlay, Chief Technology Officer, Tecplot Inc. | Articles | Comments

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that will fly at speeds approaching Mach 1.4—faster than anything in the sub-50-kg vehicle category today—using an engine two to four times more efficient than any other in its class is under development by researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder, through a university startup Starcor. The prototype is expected to be ready within a year.

Simulating Quality, Cost, and Schedule

October 9, 2012 12:07 pm | by Robert Harwood, PhD, Aerospace and Defense Industry Director, Ansys and Margaret Schmitt, Area Director Apache Design (subsidiary of Ansys) | Articles | Comments

The aerospace and defense community is considered a pioneer in physics-based simulation development and one of its earliest adopters. Design engineers use simulation software to create virtual representations of practically anything and everything, including complete unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

The mathematics of leaf decay

October 4, 2012 4:48 am | by Jennifer Chu | News | Comments

The natural decay of organic carbon contributes more than 90% of the yearly carbon dioxide released into Earth's atmosphere and oceans. Understanding the rate at which leaves decay can help scientists predict this global flux of carbon dioxide. But a single leaf may undergo different rates of decay depending on a number of variables. Researchers have just built a mathematical model that incorporates these variables, and have discovered a commonality within the diversity of leaf decay.

New simulation method produces realistic fluid movements

September 26, 2012 5:58 pm | News | Comments

What does a yogurt look like over time? The food industry will soon be able to answer this question using a new fluid simulation tool developed by scientists at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, as part of a broad partnership with other research institutions. The method distinguishes itself significantly from known simulation methods which use mesh structures where the vertices are locked in a fixed position. In the new method, the mesh structure is replaced by a dynamic structure where the vertices move one at a time.

Computer simulations for multiscale systems can be faster, more reliable

September 20, 2012 4:16 am | News | Comments

University of Oregon scientists have found a way to correctly reproduce not only the structure but also important thermodynamic quantities, such as pressure and compressibility, of a large, multiscale system at variable levels of molecular coarse-graining.

Simulating the birth of a planet

September 5, 2012 7:51 am | News | Comments

Over the past few decades, the hunt for extrasolar planets has yielded incredible discoveries. Now, planetary researchers have a new tool—simulated models of how planets are born. A team of researchers at The University of Texas at Austin are using supercomputers to model and simulate the protostellar disks that precede the formation of planet.

Study: More carbon dioxide leads to less clouds

September 5, 2012 4:36 am | News | Comments

It is common knowledge that the warmer the air, the more water can evaporate. Researchers in Europe have now established that this is not always the case: Although an increase in the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide makes the climate warmer, it also allows less water to evaporate. This finding has informed a set of new calculations for climate modeling.

New simulation models metastasis

August 27, 2012 3:28 am | News | Comments

Cancer metastasis, the escape and spread of primary tumor cells, is a common cause of cancer-related deaths. But metastasis remains poorly understood, and only recently have studies indicate that blood’s “stickiness” actually tears off tumor cells. Using a statistical technique employed by animators, scientists created a new computer simulation that reveals how cancer cells enter the bloodstream and the physical forces involved.

Understanding the blood-brain barrier by building one

August 22, 2012 9:14 am | News | Comments

Much like a sentry at a border crossing, the network of tiny blood vessels surrounding the brain only allows a few important molecules in or out. This is the blood-brain barrier, which shields the brain from potentially harmful substances. Researchers are hoping to better understand this little understood roadblock by creating an artificially engineered, or simulated, barrier.

Radiation belt probes may help predict space weather

August 16, 2012 9:26 am | News | Comments

Living with a star can be a challenge, especially as Earthlings extend their reach into space. A Rice University scientist is contributing to an effort to make life more comfortable for both the people and satellites sent out there, and provide valuable research for those who remain planet-bound.

Recreating a slice of the universe

August 15, 2012 9:07 am | News | Comments

Scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and their colleagues at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies have invented a new computational approach that can accurately follow the birth and evolution of thousands of galaxies over billions of years.

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