A sound idea: A step towards quantum computing

A team at the University of Tsukuba studied a novel process for creating coherent lattice waves inside silicon crystals using ultrashort laser pulses. Using theoretical calculations combined with experimental results that ...

To improve drones, researchers study flying insects

The unmanned aircraft known as drones, used by hobbyists, researchers and industry to take aerial images and perform other tasks, are growing ever more popular—and smaller. But that miniaturization, which has produced drones ...

Gold for iron nanocubes

One of the major challenges in nanotechnology is the precise control of shape, size and elemental composition of every single nanoparticle. Physical methods are able to produce homogeneous nanoparticles free of surface contamination. ...

How NASA prepares spacecraft for the harsh radiation of space

In a small, square room walled by four feet of concrete, the air smells as if a lightning storm just passed through—crisp and acrid, like cleaning supplies. Outside, that's the smell of lightning ripping apart oxygen in ...

Large boulders help shape huge canyons, researchers find

Anyone who enjoys whitewater rafting in places like the Colorado River owes a debt of gratitude to the enormous boulders that create the foaming undulation known as rapids, and new research appears to shed more light on how ...

Dynamics of key viral attack strategy visible for first time

Many infectious viruses, from HIV to West Nile, rely on a fundamental biological process called frameshifting to maximize their attack. Long identified as a key mechanism that viruses use to proliferate inside their hosts, ...

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Computer simulation

A computer simulation, a computer model or a computational model is a computer program, or network of computers, that attempts to simulate an abstract model of a particular system. Computer simulations have become a useful part of mathematical modeling of many natural systems in physics (computational physics), chemistry and biology, human systems in economics, psychology, and social science and in the process of engineering new technology, to gain insight into the operation of those systems, or to observe their behavior.

Computer simulations vary from computer programs that run a few minutes, to network-based groups of computers running for hours, to ongoing simulations that run for days. The scale of events being simulated by computer simulations has far exceeded anything possible (or perhaps even imaginable) using the traditional paper-and-pencil mathematical modeling: over 10 years ago, a desert-battle simulation, of one force invading another, involved the modeling of 66,239 tanks, trucks and other vehicles on simulated terrain around Kuwait, using multiple supercomputers in the DoD High Performance Computer Modernization Program; a 1-billion-atom model of material deformation (2002); a 2.64-million-atom model of the complex maker of protein in all organisms, a ribosome, in 2005; and the Blue Brain project at EPFL (Switzerland), began in May 2005, to create the first computer simulation of the entire human brain, right down to the molecular level.

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