A mysterious phenomenon detected by space probes has finally been explained, thanks to a massive computer simulation that was able to precisely align with details of spacecraft observations. The finding could not only solve an astrophysical puzzle, but might also lead to a better ability to predict high-energy electron streams in space that could damage satellites.
Researchers at North Carolina State University have discovered the means by which a polymer known as PVDF, polyvinylidene fluoride, enables capacitors to store and release large amounts of energy quickly. Their findings could lead to much more powerful and efficient electric cars.
Plant and computer scientists can now study the underground world of plants with more accuracy and clarity thanks to the adaption of X-ray micro computed tomography (micro-CT). The method has been used in the U.K. to examine the shape and branching patterns of roots in soil. The new technique should improve the chances of breeding better crop varieties and increasing yields.
Some of the recent advancements in nanotechnology depend critically on how nanoparticles move and diffuse on a surface or in a fluid under non-ideal to extreme conditions. Georgia Institute of Technology has a team of researchers dedicated to advancing this frontier.
While researchers have long known of the incredible strength of spider silk, the robust nature of the tiny filaments cannot alone explain how webs survive multiple tears and winds that exceed hurricane strength. A combination of computer simulations and new experimental observations have revealed more about the sacrificial beams and stress-dependent materials that make silk so strong.
Using computer simulations, a researcher has shown that an oxygen molecule is stable up to pressures of 1.9 terapascal, which is about 19 million times higher than atmosphere pressure. The result was a complete surprise, because other simple molecules like nitrogen or hydrogen do not survive such high pressures.
Coinciding with a peak in solar activity, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Space Weather Laboratory will soon simultaneously produce as many as 100 computerized forecasts by calculating multiple possible parameters, improving our ability to predict the impact of solar storms. Currently, just one set of conditions is used to anticipate solar-storm activity.
Conventional scientific wisdom says that the interatomic forces between ions that control high-temperature processes are insensitive to the heating of the electron "glue" that binds the ions together. In effect, traditional atomistic simulations ignore electron temperature completely. However, physicists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have shown how electron temperature has a surprisingly large impact on phase stability and melting in refractory transition metals.
Taking inspiration from the yellow fattail scorpion, which uses a bionic shield to protect itself against scratches from desert sandstorms, scientists have developed a new way to protect the moving parts of machinery from wear and tear.
Every year, students studying aeronautical and astronautical design brace themselves for the time-consuming process of writing their own code to optimize aerospace designs. In search of a better way, a team of engineers at the Aerospace Design Lab at Stanford University has released SU2, an open-source application that models the effects of fluids moving over aerodynamic surfaces.
By using a novel technique to better understand mineral growth and dissolution, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are improving predictions of mineral reactions and laying the groundwork for applications ranging from keeping oil pipes clear to sequestering radium.
Civil engineers at Syracuse University have developed various statistical prediction models using data obtained from the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati, Ohio, to generate deterioration models for wastewater pipes. The models, when adapted to a given system, is intended to facilitate a proactive approach to pipeline replacements and maintenance.
For some time, researchers have explored flammable ice for low-carbon or alternative fuel or as a place to store carbon dioxide. Now, a computer analysis of the ice and gas compound, known as a gas hydrate, reveals key details of its structure. The results show that hydrates can hold hydrogen at an optimal capacity of 5 weight-percent, a value that meets the goal of a U.S. Department of Energy standard and makes gas hydrates practical and affordable.
Agent-based computer models use fine-scale data from actual movements of individuals obtained by detailed video recordings, global positioning systems, or mobile phone tracking. Researchers say that these tools, which can help them simulate crowd movements, could also help them model the spread of infections in mass gatherings.
While physicists at the Large Hadron Collider smash together thousands of protons and other particles to see what matter is made of, they're never going to hurl electrons at each other. No matter how high the energy, the little negative particles won't break apart. But that doesn't mean they are indestructible. Using several massive supercomputers, a team of physicists has spilt simulated electron perfectly in half.
Optimizing the conductivity of ceria-based oxides, or doped ceria, is crucial to their use as electrolytes in future solid oxide fuel cells. Researchers from NIST and Arizona State University have successfully used kinetic lattice Monte Carlo simulations to predict the optimum dopant concentration for maximizing conductivity for gadolinium doped ceria at temperatures that are practical for fuel cell operation.
Addressing the complexity of Domain Name System Security (DNSSEC), Sandia National Laboratories computer scientist Casey Deccio has developed a new visualization tool known as DNSViz. DNSSEC is a standard security feature at high-level government offices, but it is extremely complex and Deccio’s tool helps simplify implementation.
A quad porosity model developed by Oklahoma State University researchers uses scanning electron microscopy to characterize up to four porosity systems for shale gas. The simulation model, which will offer better forecasting and potential cost savings, is about to be field-tested in gas reservoirs over the next few months.
University of California, Davis, researchers have proposed a radical new way of thinking about the chemical reactions between water and metal oxides. The new paradigm could lead to a better understanding of corrosion and how toxic minerals leach from rocks and soil. It could also help in development of green technology.
When geochemist David Valentine and colleagues published a study in early 2011 documenting how bacteria blooms had consumed almost all of the deepwater methane plumes following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, some people were skeptical. A recent publication explains how they did it.
Konrad Juethner, a software engineering consultant, recently used Windows HPC Server to run cluster-based analysis with COMSOL Multiphysics using the hardware he had available at home. His successful setup highlights a high level of accessibility for advanced supercomputing approaches.
Researchers at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) and Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany have conducted detailed analyses of electrical activity in the brain with the help of mathematical models that reveal the connection between nerve cell activity and the electrical signal recorded by an electrode.
In a new study, scientists at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute have uncovered the mechanisms that help our brain to focus, or lose focus. Computational models and advanced imaging methods have identified the filters that efficiently route only relevant information to perceptual brain regions.
Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, who set out to simulate all rainbows found in nature, wound up answering questions about the physics of rainbows as well. The scientists recreated a wide variety of rainbows by using an improved method for simulating how light interacts with water drops of various shapes and sizes.
Supercomputer simulations at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are giving scientists access to a key class of proteins involved in drug detoxification. Researchers have performed simulations to observe the motions of water molecules in a class of enzymes called P450s, which are responsible for processing a large fraction of drugs taken by humans.