Blue energy, which is the free energy lost when salty sea water and less salty river water meet and mix in estuaries, could become a significant source of global electricity in the future. Capacitive mixing, an up-and-coming technique that exploits the charge-discharge cycle of capacitors can be used to harvest this energy but optimizing the devices employed here has been no easy task. Researchers in France have now shown that molecular simulations can realistically predict the capacitance of devices that contain nanoporous carbon materials as the electrodes and salty water as the electrolyte. When run in reverse this technique is also an efficient way to desalinate water in a process known as capacitive deionization.
A new method for calculating the electromagnetic effects involved in the weak decays of hadrons has been developed by researchers from the three universities and units of INFN in Rome and from the University of Southampton. They have now proved its effectiveness and plan to apply it to various quantities in the field of particle physics.
Mathematical modeling has been a standard tool for engineers for decades, but in clinical medicine, it is still a newcomer. The Finnish start-up software company Disior Ltd. develops computational software for treating bone fractures. The purpose is to bring mathematical modeling, known for its benefits in research and industry, available for physicians.
Using centuries old equations of fluid motion, supercomputers can be used to simulate turbulent flow in fine detail. But theoretical physicists are still unsure as to how these equations actually work. A group led by Professor Luca Biferale of the University of Rome Tor Vergata has been carrying out state-of-the-art simulations of turbulent flow under rotation, which are not only applicable to real life situations such as weather systems, but can also provide insight into the equations themselves.
100 years ago, Albert Einstein proposed the existence of gravitational waves in his general theory of relativity. To prove the existence of gravitational waves, the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) collaboration, funded by the National Science Foundation in the Unites States, uses incredibly sophisticated geographically distributed laser detectors to detect the elusive sounds of the universe.
Studies of proteins are generally carried out in dilute conditions, but in reality they exist in the extremely crowded environment found inside cells. Professor Matteo Dal Peraro of EPFL in Switzerland has been investigating how this may affect experimental results by carrying out simulations of proteins in conditions more similar to those in the cell.
The project TopWing led by the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) was awarded with 12 million core hours under the 10th PRACE Call for Proposals for Project Access. Using PRACE resources on Curie hosted by GENCI at CEA, France allowed the TopOpt Group from DTU under Ole Sigmund to implement the computational morphogenesis tool and produced simulations with a giga-voxel resolution (three-dimensional equivalents of pixels). The developed tool from the TopOpt Group paved the way for full-scale airplane wing design with hitherto unprecedented resolution and huge potential for improved design and weight savings for the aerospace industry.
Using new numerical simulations, scientists from the CEA, the CNRS and the University Paris-Diderot can explain why the Sun’s magnetic field reverses every eleven years. To be published in the July 14, 2017 issue of Science, the discovery of a scaling law for determining the magnetic cycle period of a star is pioneering and helps us comprehend violent space weather phenomena.
In 2016, computational chemist Zoe Cournia was awarded the first ever PRACE Ada Lovelace Award for HPC for her work in computer-aided drug design. She talks about her work and how she believes more needs to be done to bridge the gap between researchers and the general public.