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Science Vignettes


New Conservation Laws in Turbulent Magnetized Flows

University of Rochester (UofR) researchers used a novel coarse-graining framework for disentangling multiscale interactions to find the existence of two separate conservation laws over an entire range of length scales in turbulent magnetized flows. The work relied on a suite of massively parallel simulations run on NERSC using the DiNuSUR code developed at UofR. Read More »

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Petawatt Laser Guiding and Electron Beam Acceleration to 8 GeV in a Laser-Heated Capillary Discharge Waveguide

Researchers at Berkeley Lab’s BELLA Center set a new world record in laser-driven plasma-based electron acceleration by obtaining beams with an energy of up to 7.8 GeV in a 20 cm-long plasma using the high-power BELLA laser. The maximum achieved energy nearly doubled their previous record set in 2014. Read More »


Machine-Learned Impurity Level Prediction in Semiconductors

Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) researchers ran high-throughout atomistic simulations on NERSC supercomputers and generated comprehensive computational datasets of impurity properties in two classes of semiconductors: lead-based hybrid perovskites and Cd-based chalcogenides. These datasets led to machine learned models which enable accelerated prediction and design for the entire chemical space of materials and impurities in these semiconductor class. Read More »

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Mapping Neutral Hydrogen in the Early Universe

Researchers at Berkeley Center for Cosmological Physics (BCCP) developed a model that produces maps of the 21cm emission signal from neutral hydrogen in the early universe. Thanks to NERSC supercomputers, the team was able to run simulations with enough dynamic range and fidelity to theoretically explore this uncharted territory which contains 80% of the feasibly observable universe by volume and holds the potential to revolutionize cosmology. Read More »


Enabling Thermochemistry Estimation using Deep Learning

MIT researchers developed an automated system to continually perform quantum chemistry calculations and use the results to continually retrain a deep learning model for predicting the thermochemistry, i.e., enthalpy of formation, entropy, and heat capacities, of complex polycyclic molecules. A novel approach for estimating uncertainties in these predictions was used to identify which new molecules should be refined with quantum chemistry and added to the training data set. NERSC resources enabled performing many quantum chemistry calculations automatically and in parallel. Read More »


Towards Simpler Fusion Power Devices

The ability to model self-organized magnetically confined plasma systems is an important tool for the goal of predictive modeling of devices for design of fusion power systems. This work has expanded the confidence in the modeling of a complicated plasma configuration that imposes large perturbations with a time-dependent 3-D structure. Read More »

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Cutting Edge Simulations of Lasers Interacting With Dense Plasmas

Intense laser pulses can quickly deposit large amounts of energy into solid materials, thus creating dense plasmas and subjecting matter to extreme temperature and pressure. This is useful in a variety of scientific applications, such as laboratory astrophysics, accelerating particles to high energies over short distances, or generating light pulses lasting just attoseconds. Read More »

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Vulnerability of the Antarctic Ice Sheet

A team led from Berkeley Lab used a highly-resolved model of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to systematically examine vulnerability to regional collapse of its floating ice shelves and the resulting potential for large contributions to sea level rise (SLR). Read More »

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Exploring the High-Pressure Materials Genome

Researchers at Northwestern University developed a novel computational framework that runs on NERSC’s Cori supercomputer to rapidly explore apparent paradox of material phases that exist in nature that should be unstable according to calculations that assume idealized conditions of zero pressure and zero temperature. Using this method, the stability of these material phases is better understood, and the team has identified several new intermetallic high-pressure phases that can be realized with existing experimental techniques. Read More »

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DOE Models Simulate Antarctic Ice Sheet Evolution

Ice sheet models developed under a DOE SciDAC project and run at NERSC have contributed to three international model intercomparison projects focused on assessing the future evolution of the Antarctic ice sheet. Read More »