CRAY SUPERCOMPUTER USED TO CONFIRM UNIVERSE IS FLAT & WILL EXPAND FOREVER.
The Cray T3E supercomputer at the Dept. of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, along with software developed there, helped obtain the most detailed measurements yet of cosmic microwave background radiation. The results were recently released by the international BOOMERANG consortium, led by Andrew Lange of the California Institute of Technology and Paolo Bernardis of the University of Rome.
The calculation required 50,000 hours of processor time and would have taken almost six years to complete if run on a desktop personal computer. On the Cray T3E computer, processing time over the life of the project totaled less than three weeks.
"From studying our universe to studying the human genome, scientists are generating incredible amounts of data - but it takes the capabilities of supercomputing facilities such as the Energy Dept.'s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center to make sense of and learn from that data," says Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson.
"We're excited to have had a vital role in this research program, whose results reflect the leading-edge capabilities of NERSC in particular and the growing contributions of scientific computing in general," says Horst Simon, Berkeley Lab's NERSC Division Director. "It is particularly fitting that new answers about the nature of our universe were found in a supercomputer at Berkeley Lab, where many of the past century's greatest scientific discoveries were made."
BOOMERANG - which stands for "balloon observations of millimetric extragalactic radiation and geophysics" - was supported in the United States principally by the National Science Foundation and NASA. In January 1999, the BOOMERANG Long Duration Ballooning mission completed its circumnavigation of the South Pole after ten and a half days aloft. Instruments suspended beneath the balloon made close to one billion measurements of the tiny variations in the temperature of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) across a wide swath of the sky.
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|Publication:||EDP Weekly's IT Monitor|
|Date:||May 15, 2000|
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