Friday, May 22, 2009
Matzner uses TACC’s Ranger supercomputer to simulate binary black hole mergers and search for gravitational waves. The waves were predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity but have yet to be observed. Matzner thinks we’re getting close.
The discovery of gravitational waves “will be a new way of looking at very distant parts of the universe,” Matzner said, “and we anticipate that those results will be very important for cosmology.”
On the College of Natural Sciences Web site, writer Daniel Oppenheimer’s story gets under the surface of Pablo Munguia’s research to understand how habitat destruction affects different kinds of species and communities.
Munguia, an assistant research professor at the Marine Science Institute, uses a seawater bivalve, the pen shell, as his test subject.
He explains why:
“… if one is interested in understanding habitat destruction, you can’t just go around destroying whole forests–it is logistically impossible and ethically wrong,” Munguia said. “But with pen shells, you can create them and simulate destruction by removing them. Pen shell communities can be moved around, placed either close together or far apart, and anchored at different times of the year. You can’t do that with coral reefs or forests.”