Modeling a Cosmic Bomb: DOE ‘Big Splash’ Award Produces a NERSC First
October 31, 2003
Earlier this year Lifan Wang of the Physics Division and his colleagues reported the first evidence of polarization in a “normal” Type Ia supernova (see Currents, Aug. 8). SN 2001el’s otherwise normal spectrum showed an unusual glitch, however, which has led to the best-ever supercomputer models of the shapes of these exploding stars.
The visible surface (photosphere) of a Type Ia explosion typically expands at over 22 million miles per hour. SN 2001el’s spectrum had extra calcium lines, so blueshifted they indicated material racing toward the observer twice as fast.
About NERSC and Berkeley Lab
The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility that serves as the primary high-performance computing center for scientific research sponsored by the Office of Science. Located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the NERSC Center serves more than 7,000 scientists at national laboratories and universities researching a wide range of problems in combustion, climate modeling, fusion energy, materials science, physics, chemistry, computational biology, and other disciplines. Berkeley Lab is a DOE national laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy. »Learn more about computing sciences at Berkeley Lab.