University of Texas at Austin

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Exploring explosions

Visualization of a large jet fuel pool fire in a cross flow that is heating a suspended cylindrical container.

Visualization of a large jet fuel pool fire in a cross flow that is heating a suspended cylindrical container.

A story on the Web site of the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is about research to model explosions. It highlights the work of Charles Wright, a chemistry professor at the University of Utah, who is using TACC’s Ranger computer.

Experiments on explosions can be tricky, but they’re no piece of cake to model on a computer. The story explains: Explosions are particularly challenging to simulate because they involve many different branches of science (encompassing chemistry, engineering and physics) and must model interactions on a range of dimensions — from the molecular level to meters in length — and durations — from microseconds to minutes.

Wright and his colleagues in the Center for the Simulation of Accidental Fires and Explosions want to make the modeling software they are developing available to users over the TeraGrid so researchers can simulate diverse phenomena, from the dynamics of vocal chords to novel computer cooling systems to fires on space stations.

Read the full story here.

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