Doe Science news source
The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
  • 2018-06-08 13:05:54
  • Article ID: 695861

Oak Ridge National Laboratory Launches America's New Top Supercomputer for Science

OAK RIDGE, TENNESSEE – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) unveiled Summit as the world’s most powerful and smartest scientific supercomputer. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry attended the debut to meet with the ORNL team and see first-hand this monumental supercomputer.

With a peak performance of 200,000 trillion calculations per second—or 200 petaflops, Summit will be eight times more powerful than America’s current top-ranked system, Titan, which is also housed at ORNL. For certain scientific applications, Summit will also be capable of more than three billion-billion mixed precision calculations per second. Summit will provide unprecedented computing power for research in energy, advanced materials, and artificial intelligence (AI), among other domains. Summit will enable scientific discoveries that were previously impractical or impossible.

“Today’s launch of the Summit supercomputer demonstrates the strength of American leadership in scientific innovation and technology development. It’s going to have a profound impact in energy research, scientific discovery, economic competitiveness, and national security,” said Secretary Perry. “I am truly excited by the potential of Summit, as it moves the nation one step closer to the goal of delivering an exascale supercomputing system by 2021. Summit will empower scientists to address a wide range of new challenges, accelerate discovery, spur innovation, and above all, benefit the American people.”

Summit’s computing capacity is so powerful that it has the ability to compute 30 years’ worth of data saved on a desktop computer in just one hour. These capabilities mark a huge increase in computing efficiency that will revolutionize the future of American science. ORNL researchers have also figured out how to harness the power and intelligence of Summit's state-of-art architecture to successfully run the world's first exascale scientific calculation, or exaops, as DOE’s fleet of proposed exascale computing systems come online in the next five years.

“From its genesis 75 years ago, ORNL has a history and culture of solving large and difficult problems with national scope and impact,” said ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia. “ORNL scientists were among the scientific teams that achieved the first gigaflops calculations in 1988, the first teraflops calculations in 1998, the first petaflops calculations in 2008, and now the first exaops calculations in 2018. The pioneering research of ORNL scientists and engineers has played a pivotal role in our nation’s history and continues to shape our future. We look forward to welcoming the scientific user community to Summit as we pursue another 75 years of leadership in science.”

In addition to scientific modeling and simulation, Summit offers unparalleled opportunities for the integration of AI and scientific discovery, enabling researchers to apply techniques like machine learning and deep learning to problems in human health, high-energy physics, materials discovery and other areas. These opportunities that Summit will bring align with the White House Artificial Intelligence for America initiative announced last month.

Summit will be open to select projects this year while ORNL and IBM work through the acceptance process for the machine. In 2019, the bulk of access to the IBM system will go to research teams selected through DOE’s Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program.

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Large Outdoor Study Shows Biodiversity Improves Stability of Algal Biofuel Systems

A diverse mix of species improves the stability and fuel-oil yield of algal biofuel systems, as well as their resistance to invasion by outsiders, according to the findings of a federally funded outdoor study by University of Michigan researchers.

SLAC, Stanford Scientists Discover How a Hardy Microbe's Crystalline Shell Helps it Reel in Food

SLAC and Stanford scientists have discovered how some archaea thrive where other organisms would starve: Their crystalline shells not only protect them from the environment, but they also draw in nutrients through nanosized pores. Those nutrients concentrate in the space between the shell and the microbial cell, so what looks like a famine turns into a feast.

Critical plant gene takes unexpected detour that could boost biofuel yields

For decades, biologists have believed a key enzyme in plants had one function--produce amino acids, which are vital to plant survival and also essential to human diets. But for Wellington Muchero, Meng Xie and their colleagues, this enzyme does more than advertised. They had run a series of experiments on poplar plants that consistently revealed mutations in a structure of the life-sustaining enzyme that was not previously known to exist.

How Microgrids Could Boost Resilience in New Orleans

In a year-long project, researchers at Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories teamed up with the City of New Orleans to analyze ways to increase community resilience and improve the availability of critical lifeline services during and after severe weather. The team used historical hurricane scenarios to model how storms cause localized flooding, disrupt the electrical system and cut off parts of the community from lifeline services. Sandia researchers then developed a tool to analyze and identify existing clusters of businesses and community resources in areas less prone to inundation -- such as gas stations, grocery stores and pharmacies that could be outfitted with microgrids to boost resilience.

NIF Experiments Blast Previous Record and Double Fusion Yield

An experimental campaign conducted at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) - the world's largest and most energetic laser - has achieved a total fusion neutron yield of 1.9e16 (1.9x1016) and 54 KJ of fusion energy output - double the previous record. The experiments utilized a diamond capsule - a layer of ultra-thin high-density carbon containing the deuterium-tritium (DT) fusion fuel. In addition to increased yield, the experiments achieved unprecedented pressures, exceeding those found at the center of the Sun.

PNNL Technology Clears Way for Ethanol-Derived Jet Fuel

News Release RICHLAND, Wash. -- ASTM International recently revised ASTM D7566 Annex A5 -- the Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons -- to add ethanol as an approved feedstock for producing alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK). The revision of ASTM D7566 Annex A5 clears the way for increased adoption of sustainable aviation fuels because ethanol feedstocks can be made from so many different low-cost sources.

Experiments at Berkeley Lab Help Trace Interstellar Dust Back to Solar System's Formation

Experiments conducted at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory helped to confirm that samples of interplanetary particles - collected from Earth's upper atmosphere and believed to originate from comets - contain dust leftover from the initial formation of the solar system.

Designing a better superconductor with geometric frustration

Notre Dame study shows a magnet-controlled "switch" in superconductor configuration provides unprecedented flexibility in managing the location of vortex filaments, altering the properties of the superconductor.

Robust MOF Material Exhibits Selective, Fully Reversible and Repeatable Capture of Toxic Atmospheric Gas

Scientists have developed a metal-organic framework material offering selective, reversible and repeatable capture of nitrogen dioxide from ambient air. This could lead to cost-effective capture of greenhouse gases, to facilitate sequestration and help mitigate air pollution and global warming.

Diamond Dust Shimmering Around Distant Stars

Some of the tiniest diamonds in the universe - bits of crystalline carbon hundreds of thousands of times smaller than a grain of sand - have been detected swirling around three infant star systems in the Milky Way. These microscopic gemstones are neither rare nor precious; they are, however, exciting for astronomers who identified them as the source of a mysterious cosmic microwave "glow" emanating from several protoplanetary disks in our galaxy.


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Professor Emily Liu Receives $1.8 Million DoE Award for Solar Power Systems Research

Li (Emily) Liu, associate professor of nuclear engineering and engineering physics in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to receive a $1.8 million award to study high-temperature molten-salt properties and corrosion mechanisms.

Vasilis Fthenakis Receives IEEE's William R. Cherry Award

UPTON, NY; Vasilis Fthenakis, a Senior Scientist Emeritus at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and Founder and Director of the Center for Life Cycle Analysis at Columbia University, will receive the 2018 William R. Cherry Award from the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

New PPPL director Steve Cowley is honored with knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II

Steven Cowley, newly named director of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) effective July 1, has received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth "for services to science and the development of nuclear fusion."

UVA Darden Releases Policy Playbook Identifying Six Actions to Catalyze Clean-Tech Innovation

Moving the needle on climate change will require substantive and disruptive innovation across multiple industry sectors. Public and private investment focused on a few key areas could have a significant impact, according to a new policy playbook released by the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation on 8 June.

Work Begins on New SLAC Facility for Revolutionary Accelerator Science

The Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has started to assemble a new facility for revolutionary accelerator technologies that could make future accelerators 100 to 1,000 times smaller and boost their capabilities.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory Launches America's New Top Supercomputer for Science

The U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory unveiled Summit as the world's most powerful and smartest scientific supercomputer.

Takeuchi Receives European Inventor Award 2018 in the Non-EPO Countries Category

Prolific patent-holder won for inventing battery that increases the lifespan of implantable defibrillators fivefold, greatly reducing need for reoccurring surgery

Steve Kevan Named Next Director of Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source

After an international search, Stephen D. "Steve" Kevan has been named the new director of the Advanced Light Source (ALS) at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

International corrosion society elects first Sandia fellow

Sandia National Laboratories materials scientist David Enos has been elected a fellow of NACE International, the chief professional society for corrosion engineering. He is the first Sandia employee to receive the honor.

Power to the People

The University of Utah College of Engineering has received a $2 million grant to create a laboratory and develop new technology for communities with backup power sources, known as microgrids, so they can quickly and more securely operate in the event of a massive power outage due to a natural disaster or cyberattack.


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Simulations of Magnetically Confined Plasmas Reveal a Self-Regulating Stabilizing Mechanism

A mysterious mechanism that prevents instabilities may be similar to the process that maintains the Earth's magnetic field.

Seeing All the Colors of the Plasma Wind

2-D velocity imaging helps fusion researchers understand the role of ion winds (aka flows) in the boundary of tokamak plasmas.

Renewable Solvents Derived From Lignin Lowers Waste in Biofuel Production

New class of solvents breaks down plant biomass into sugars for biofuels and bioproducts in a closed-loop biorefinery concept.

Scientists Studying Nuclear Spin Make a Surprising Discovery

The size of a nucleus appears to influence the direction of certain particles emitted from collisions with spinning protons.

Simulating Turbulent Bubbly Flows in Nuclear Reactors

With a better understanding of bubbly flows, researchers can improve the safety and operation of our nuclear reactors.

Solving a Magnesium Mystery in Rechargeable Battery Performance

Study reveals surprising, bad chemical reactivity in battery components previously considered compatible.

Changing the Surroundings Improves Catalysis

Water changes how cobalt-based molecule turns carbon dioxide into chemical feedstock.

How to Draw a Line Narrower Than a Cold Virus

Scientists use ion beams to write high-purity metal structures, enabling nanofabrication opportunities.

Powering Up With a Smart Window

Window material repeatedly switches from being see-through to blocking the heat and converting sunlight into electricity.

Remnant Superconductivity From Invisible Stripes

Scientists used an intense light to unveil hidden rivers that transport electricity with no loss.


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