Monday, May 05, 2008

Studying exploding stars has its challenges. In particular Type Ia supernovas, where temperatures reach billions of degrees. But someone's got to do it, so Robert Fisher and Cal Jordan at the University of Chicago’s Center for Astrophysical Thermonuclear Flashes have organized a team of scientists who will

"expend 22 million computational hours during the next year on one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, simulating an event that takes less than five seconds"

That according to a release just out from the University of Chicago News Office.

Imagine...such resources are necessary in our primitive 21st century to engage in what for us seems extreme exploration; but the University of Chicago, a U's U, is hosting and footing a lot of the bill.

Doubtless with some DARPA bucks. For from time to time a nationstate must contemplate the utility of its personal store of mini-nova makers. GreenWarriors may even want to explore whether there might be some way to capture all the useful energy emitted from even a tactical nuclear release, let alone theater- class devices. How many cities could be illuminated by the capture of the energies emitted across the sonic and radio spectra by a single standard-issue atomic fusion or fission? Is it possible to measure? Maybe the su;pernova guys will have an answer. Investors will surely want to know.

The God Shiva would be proud. Oppenheimer of the Los Alamos bomb team boasted to the trident-bearing entity "Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds."

Maybe now it's time to amend it by adding "provider of consumer power at competitive prices."

(NASA/CXC/Rutgers/J.Warren & J.Hughes et al.)

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