University of Texas at Austin

Archive for February, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Solar energy research: The cake pan demo

Loren Kaake

Loren Kaake

Translating a scientific concept into an easy-to-understand image can be hard, but here’s how a researcher at The University of Texas at Austin did it with BBs and a cake pan.

See the video of charge transport in a cake pan

At the Electronic Frontiers Research Center (EFRC) on Charged Transport and Polymers, Loren Kaake, a post-doctoral fellow, researches how to make organic semiconductors for solar panels.

The organic materials in question are polymers, or plastics. Photovoltaic cells made from plastic would go
Read More …

Monday, February 8, 2010

Crunching Ranger’s numbers



In a world in which small computing devices such as the iPad and its cousins get a lot of attention and what they’re used for is getting smaller (I’ve used more than 140 characters already), it’s good to know there is still room for Big Iron.

Of course, big problems—such as astronomy, energy, biosciences, geosciences and climate—need a big computer with a lot of processing power.

That’s what we’re talking about with the Ranger supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center.

Some Ranger
Read More …

Friday, February 5, 2010

What colors are your dinosaur?

Julia Clarke, paleontologist

Julia Clarke, paleontologist

Julia Clarke, a paleontologist in the Jackson School of Geosciences, was a member of a team of researchers that, for the first time, filled in the colors of a dinosaur.

The research is reported in the Feb. 4, 2010 edition of Science. The Jackson School Web site has the story of Clarke’s role in the research.

Find links to articles about the research and depictions of the dinosaur, Anchiornis huxleyi, at the Jackson School site.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The “super” in supercomputers

Jay Boisseau, director of TACC

Jay Boisseau, director TACC

Supercomputers do work that affects our lives everyday.

Jay Boisseau, director of the Texas Advanced Computing Center at The University of Texas at Austin, says that supercomputers have an increasing impact on society and people might not realize the impact supercomputers have on their daily lives.

Supercomputers are used to design cars, making them better, safer, more fuel efficient, as well as many other products we use; help predict the weather from daily patterns to the movements of hurricanes; and
Read More …