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Astronomers Explode Virtual Supernova

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the safest-detonation-yet dept.

Space 97

DynaSoar writes "Scientists at the University of Chicago's Center for Astrophysical Thermonuclear Flashes have created a simulation of a white dwarf exploding into a type 1a supernova. Using 700 processors and 58,000 hours, they produced a three second movie showing the initial burst that is thought to be the source of much of the iron in the universe. Understanding these supernovas is also important to testing current cosmological theories regarding dark matter and dark energy, as their brightness is used as a measurement of distance, and discrepancies found in the brightness of very distant supernovas consistently seem to indicate a change in the speed of expansion of the universe over time."

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Poll Troll Toll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18454609)

What's better....

Exploding a supernova [impoll.net]
Exploding in a mare [impoll.net]

movie links on the UC site (5, Informative)

siddesu (698447) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454641)

http://flash.uchicago.edu/website/research/gallery /home.py [uchicago.edu]

for all alternative OS users out there.

Re:movie links on the UC site (2, Funny)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454695)

thanks for the mirror because we just exploded their servers!

Re:movie links on the UC site (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454883)

Uhm... The last part of the explosion in take2 looks a little bit like Mr. Magoo [wikipedia.org]

Re:movie links on the UC site (1)

Iridium_Hack (931607) | more than 7 years ago | (#18456793)

Doesn't look like any of the movie links work.

Re:movie links on the UC site (2, Informative)

boot_img (610085) | more than 7 years ago | (#18460741)

I think this link is not to the right movies. These links are associated with papers submitted in 2004, not 2007.

ty (1)

Mean Ass Troll (834934) | more than 7 years ago | (#18464713)

wudnt watch this with shitty macromedia flash or whatever it is. those idiots are trying to turn the internet into a tv.

Psssh! (4, Funny)

PixieDust (971386) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454663)

7000 processors and 58000 hours? SG-1 Did that in a single episode! On a TV special effects budget no less!

Re:Psssh! (1, Informative)

CriminalNerd (882826) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454917)

SG-1 did visual graphics, not a full-fledged simulation.

Re:Psssh! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18455145)

Maybe they can simulate a sense of humor for you.

Re:Psssh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18464959)

And the difference is the assumptions used.

The "simulation is more accureate assumptions and guesses.

Basicaly we dont know shit about stars let alone white dwarfs. that "simulation" has as much credibility as the Movie EFX.

Re:Psssh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18467867)

You seem to be suggesting that gravity doesn't exist, and God is pressing down on us.

Re:Psssh! (2, Funny)

hosecoat (877680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18455363)

sadly, a tv effects budget is probably more then a scientific grant.

58000 hours (3, Interesting)

Repton (60818) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454671)

So, they started the simulation over six years ago?

Re:58000 hours (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18454741)

Sure it was a coding error that showed up 6 years later...

Researcher #1: Ooops! It crashed... darn!
Researcher #2: Crap! After 6 years!...
Researcher #1: Oh wait.. I have an idea!...

Re:58000 hours (2, Informative)

psychrono (1030230) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454771)

I never RTFA, but maybe it was a "cumulative" 58,000 hours across 7,000 processors? That seems a lot more feasible to me... but maybe they did start it over 6 years ago :p

Re:58000 hours (1)

psychrono (1030230) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454789)

Oops... 700 processors, not 7,000. Preview is my friend :)

Re:58000 hours (2, Informative)

zapwow (939754) | more than 7 years ago | (#18455089)

If the 58000 hours is not cumulative, then this represents 4.6 millenia of computing time. If that were done with one processor, about 180 supernovae would explode in our galaxy during the computation.

Re:58000 hours (5, Informative)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454779)

It's probably 58,000 processor hours, which on 700 processors is closer to 83 hours in real time.

Re:58000 hours (0, Troll)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454979)

Somehow I doubt it is a feat of supercomputing marvel if it only takes 86 hours. More likely 6 years, or the submitter just completely made up those numbers, as they're not in the story anywhere.

Re:58000 hours (3, Informative)

Shimdaddy (898354) | more than 7 years ago | (#18455187)

"Though the computer simulation took a total of 58,000 hours and more than 700 computer processors, the actual process from start to finish--when the star explodes--played out in just three seconds." (Third paragraph under the subhead "Crash Code", ninth paragraph overall).

Yep, definitely nowhere in the story. Not anywhere. Definitely not in plaintext, sitting there, waiting to be read :)

Re:58000 hours (3, Insightful)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 7 years ago | (#18455223)

I think the big achievement here is having created an algorithm that can simulate the supernova, not so much the CPU power needed to run the simulation.

Re:58000 hours (2, Interesting)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 7 years ago | (#18455231)

I don't think the point of this story is some big feat of supercomputing. The interesting bit is that they made a really neat simulation and tossed it online. The processing power involved is a point of interest, nothing more.

Re:58000 hours (5, Interesting)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 7 years ago | (#18455249)

THere are a lot of interesting things about this. Supernovas are believed to be a major (though not the only) source of all elements heavier than iron in the universe.

For a brief overview (based on Fowler's Nobel Prize lecture) on element formation... This is all from memory (and I am not a physicist) so do your own verification. Basically small stars burn Protium (1H). These fuse to product 2He which immediately decays into Deuterium (2H), emiting a positron. This P-P process eventually allows Deuterium to fuse forming the stable 4He.

As the amount of Helium in a star increases, it eventually becomes possible for Helium to fuse. The only problem is that 8Be is unstable and alpha decays almost immediately back into He. However, you get a small amount of 8Be sitting around for a while, and it can fuse with 4He to produce 12C (Carbon-12). From here things get interesting...

For stars with more than about 1.1 times the mass of our sun, The carbon becomes the basis for Helium production, replacing the P-P process. The basic process (called the CNO cycle) involves single captures of protons (2 of which decay into neutrons and positrons) and then the alpha decay back into 12C. In short this allows Carbon to act as a sort of catalyst for Hydrogen fusion. All elements heavier than Carbon are produced using one of a number of processes. These include fast proton capture, slow proton capture, and alpha capture. The problem is that these become endothermic at the point of Iron. So while smaller stars can produce some of the heavier elements, they are limited in the quantities they can produce. Supernovas, however, can rapidly create much larger quantities of heavier elements.

Also note that at a point in the distant past, stars were more massive than they generally are today. This means that at different points in the history of the universe, we saw large amounts of heavier elements generated.

So this is all quite interesting. I am sure at that many hours we are probably talking about a pretty detailed atomic model. The movie probably shows noting near what the simulation shows.

Re:58000 hours (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18455287)

So, they started the simulation over six years ago?

That would still be better than the real thing, which, once viewed, probably happened thousands or millions of years ago!

Re:58000 hours (1)

haisent (696846) | more than 7 years ago | (#18457163)

they just sum up the hours. I think they can frozen the computation at any time by storing all the data in files. so maybe much longer than 6 years.

How to spell relief? BOOM! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18454681)

"Astronomers Explode Virtual Supernova"

Pfft! That's nothing. I exploded a virtual condom.

Mining Companies (-1, Offtopic)

edgr (781723) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454693)

Those greedy mining companies will use any excuse to try to find more iron to dig up to make more profit for their greedy shareholders.

A face in the explosion (3, Informative)

Var1abl3 (1021413) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454757)

Does anyone else see the "face" that is created during this explosion? I see closed eyes, a nose and even a mouth(all tongue in cheek) ROFLMAO... sorry poor joke..... would love to see this at full speed.

Re:A face in the explosion (2, Funny)

cyberbob2351 (1075435) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454831)

Elvis lives

Re:A face in the explosion (1)

Var1abl3 (1021413) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454875)

I missed it the first time but now that I look again I see ears also.... The Mother Mary in a potato chip.....

Uranus joke (0, Offtopic)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454823)

hee hee

Very Subtle (4, Funny)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454865)

> created a simulation of a white dwarf exploding into a type 1a supernova. Using 700 processors and 58,000 hours,

They probably got Federal Funding for this by explaining it was "like sticking a giant firecracker up a giant frog"

Needs some tuning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18458757)

58,000 hrs for 3 secs, or 69,600,000 computational secs per sec real time. They'll need to do some performance tuning before they go for 1 minute simulations. ;)

The horror! (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454943)

You insensative clods! They killed my virtual friends and my virtual dog orbiting around that star on a virtual planet! Just because they are bits instead of molecules is no reason to demean them.

I feel a disturbance (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18455899)

... as if a million bits cried out at once and then were silenced!

Re:The horror! (1)

Zx-man (759966) | more than 7 years ago | (#18458749)

Yeah! Not to mention cracking the orbiting teapot... :(

$wod (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454973)

They literally blew a wod of cash

Moo (2, Informative)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454985)

supernovas

Shouldn't that be supernovae?

Re:Moo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18455053)

Well, If we go to expression I guess it should read "exploded a supernova" since it already passed away.

--
R.I.P. Supernova

Re:Moo (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 7 years ago | (#18459185)

Well, a supernova does not explode. The supernova is the explosion.
What the scientists did was to explode a virtual white dwarf.

No, it's an English word (3, Informative)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 7 years ago | (#18455701)

"Supernova" is an invented word and the plural is "supernovas". Just like televisions and radios.

In fact, the word is built out of two Latin adjectives, literally it means an "abovenew". Invented words follow this rule, hence the plural of octopus is octopuses, of satellite is satellites, and of millennium is millenniums. The plural of "vertebra" is "vertebrae" because it is an actual Latin word, not an invented modern one.

Incidentally, while pursuing this very pedantic note, "satellites" is correct plural but the singular of the original word is "satelles". And the original word is pronounced sat-ell-it-ees. We are a long way from Latin.

Re:No, it's an English word (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 7 years ago | (#18456497)

And then there are words derived from Greek which people think are from Latin. One example is "hippopotamus", whose plural is "hippopotamuses" because it's an English word.

If anyone ever says "hippopotami", just laugh loudly at them and inform them that the correct quasi-Greek plural is either "hippopotamoi" (spoonfuls-type plural) or "hippoipotamus" (spoonsful-type plural).

Uh, not quite... (1)

MattHaffner (101554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18459485)

Um, hi. Astronomer here (not that it matters).

The word nova in the astronomical context comes from Tycho Brahe, a Danish astronomer who was writing in Latin at the time. The plural is novae, not novas. Although supernova is an English construction, the etymology is derived more directly from this Latin word than other modern inventions. Although both plural forms are strictly correct due to the artificial construction, supernovae is used predominantly in our field.

Linguistics (1)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 7 years ago | (#18460035)

Actually, I know astronomers call them supernovae. Until recently, they also thought Pluto was a planet. Truth is, like a lot of scientists, astronomers create cod Latin and Greek for historical reasons (Latin was the common language of intellectuals, Greek was the language they used when they really didn't want to be overheard...). Unlike Tycho, they don't use either on a regular basis, and they get it wrong. Correct me if I am wrong, but Tycho called them, correctly, "new stars". The nova is an adjective, which is inflected in Latin but not in English. The noun is stella, a star.

So astronomers can do what they like, but I for one will grit my teeth. I don't have any objection to neologism whatsoever, but trying to make it look like Latin is just pomposity.

Re:Uh, not quite... (2, Informative)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 7 years ago | (#18462277)

Both could be correct if you use them properly in the sentence. Supernovae when it's the subject, supernovas when it's the object. Assuming we're treating "supernova" as a regular 1st-declension latin feminine noun.

Strictly speaking, super (as a preposition of space or location, in this case) takes nova in the ablative case, so the ending on nova is a long a (ahhhhh). If we were writing in Latin I don't know that we'd use the -ae ending for the plural at all. In fact, I'm not sure what the plural would be. I assume we'd throw a pronoun before "super nova", maybe "eae super nova" (they who are above the new [thing]), and continue on with the sentence with "eae" (feminine they) as our subject. Or we could use Illae (those) as our subject, which might be less proper and more vulgar-latin slangy.

Re:Uh, not quite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18472297)

Um...I'm not exactly a Latin whiz, but super is an adjective here, and adjectives take their noun in the same case, so it depends on it's use in the sentence. Actually, more correctly, I think supernova is the whole adjective describing the aster (star).

But, we're not speaking Latin. We're speaking English using words derived from the Latin, and the convention in that case is to just use the nominative case (plural -ae), as far as I know.

But clearly your Latin kung fu is greater than mine (I can't for the life of me remember pronouns), so I'll just humbly offer my argument and check back later to see if you disagree.

Re:Uh, not quite... (1)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 7 years ago | (#18474005)

Super is not an adjective. It is either an adverb or a preposition. Since there is no verb in the phrase "super nova" it must be a preposition.

Re:No, it's an English word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18459709)

Astronomers use "supernovae". Supernovae/s are a subset of the nova phenomenon, which is pluralised to novae, so it's this plural you should be complaining about. Incidentally the "super" part isn't from the Latin but the English, it doesn't mean "above" in this context.
The word should probably be hyphenated, but, as this is jargon rather than proper English, anything goes.

Is it April Fools Day already? (4, Funny)

patio11 (857072) | more than 7 years ago | (#18454987)

I'm sorry, I had to check when their acronym spells CATFUC.

Nice blanket statement (2, Insightful)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 7 years ago | (#18455005)

"they produced a three second movie showing the initial burst that is thought to be the source of much of the iron in the universe"

Bob: But we'll never get funding with a three second image. This thing had to have caused something useful ..
Joe: Well, um ... how about something specific like Kevin Federline?
Bob: No, panders too much to popular culture.
Joe: That's too bad because my next thought was heavy metal music. Oh, how about some type of boring "metal" like iron ore. It's in some vitamins too which will interest the average consumer.
Bob: That'll do. We have to get the funding proposal out by noon.

Re:Nice blanket statement (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#18462615)

Bob: But we'll never get funding with a three second image. This thing had to have caused something useful ..
Didn't Janet Jackson have a star for that nipple ring thing during the Superbowl kerfluffle? If I remember right, that was 3 seconds or less. If you can get that performance out of a simulation, I guarantee someone, somewhere will give you funding. Then you just have to ask yourself if you want that money ...

looks familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18455151)

looks like projectile diarrhea. i dont need 700 processors for that, just a 1.3 pound steak.

The 700 CPUs for the simulation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18455265)

The 700 CPUs is not that much. What if they try the same simulation on 100000 CPUs?

Btw: The Folding@home released a PS3 client and it has already overtaken all current platforms:
http://fah-web.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/main.py?qtype= osstats [stanford.edu]

Re:The 700 CPUs for the simulation. (1)

NeoThermic (732100) | more than 7 years ago | (#18455523)

Has it really though? Divide TFLOPS by CPU's, and the PS3 isn't top.

NeoThermic

Well that's all fine and good.... (1)

Circlotron (764156) | more than 7 years ago | (#18455281)

...but why do these people persist in blowing so much time and effort and money on stuff like this when there are far more deserving and serious problems to be solved right here and now on good old earth. Hell, we can't even tame hydrogen --> helium let alone oxygen --> iron or whatever it is. Good, solid science for sure, but the priorities seem to be way, way wrong if you ask me.

Re:Well that's all fine and good.... (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#18455505)

There's an old saying, nine women can't have a baby in one month.

Just because you throw more resources at a problem doesn't necessarily mean that it gets solved any quicker (in many cases, past a certain point it actually gets slower).

Re:Well that's all fine and good.... (4, Insightful)

Sproggit (18426) | more than 7 years ago | (#18455559)

The priorities are NOT wrong!
Knowledge for knowledge's sake ALWAYS ends up paying off.

Just because we dont know how to make our lives better by virtue of gaining this knowledge now, there's no reason to suppose we'll never know (in fact, history indicates that eventually ALL research pays off to some extent).

If you RTFA and do a slight bit of reasoning (I know, I know, but try), you will see that this research directly helps us understand more of the hydrogen -> helium mechanincs.

Repeat after me:
ALL KNOWLEDGE IS VALUABLE.
KNOWING IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN NOT KNOWING.

Ignorance being bliss was a concept invented to placate the ignorant.

Re:Well that's all fine and good.... (1)

Nukenbar2 (591848) | more than 7 years ago | (#18459983)

I'm not so sure. I had a roommate in college that always wanted to show me his bowel movements.

Trust me, that was knowledge that you could live without.

Re:Well that's all fine and good.... (1)

Sproggit (18426) | more than 6 years ago | (#18576189)

Well, if his movements included the remains of undigested previous roomate's bodyparts.... I'd want to know...

Re:Well that's all fine and good.... (3, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 7 years ago | (#18455595)

Since you're browsing slashdot when instead you could be working on harnessing fusion power, it would seem that you're just as guilty of having skewed priorities as these astrophysicists.

Re:Well that's all fine and good.... (2, Insightful)

timster (32400) | more than 7 years ago | (#18457545)

You got some answers which are good enough, but I'd like to add a point.

Further development in materials and energy sources today relies upon gaining a better understanding of the physics involved. After all, it's hard to do engineering when you don't know the rules. While we have very good models for large-scale physics, we're still lacking at the subatomic level.

The difficulty of subatomic physics is that the particles are so small that their influences are difficult to detect. One way to solve that is to accelerate them to very large energies, high enough that we could notice a single quark out of place. That's the principle of a particle accelerator.

The problem is that we can only get so much energy, and on a small scale, with our puny devices here on Earth. Out there in space, some processes have way more energy than we could ever harness, so we can learn important things about physics just by watching. The reason to simulate a supernova is so that we know what we should expect given our current models. Likely, observation of actual supernovas is going to show discrepancies with the simulation, and those discrepancies will be grounds for further research to improve our models.

Re:Well that's all fine and good.... (1)

MattHaffner (101554) | more than 7 years ago | (#18459573)

You're implying that no work is being done taming H-fusion? I think if you compare the funding for fusion research to what astronomers do, you might feel that the ratio is pretty "reasonable".

Plus, keep in mind that this center gets funding from the DoE. I'm sure you can creatively think of other uses for exploring high-energy thermonuclear reactions in high-resolution detail.

Re:Well that's all fine and good.... (1)

Circlotron (764156) | more than 7 years ago | (#18467861)

OK. I'm happy now. Part of my motivation for the original post was the irritation of seeing projects with real worth being refused funding, and at the same time someone in the Arts being given a buttload of money by the same government so they can work out some new dance steps or whatever.

more detail (5, Informative)

gsn (989808) | more than 7 years ago | (#18455315)

Gah that article is awful. They link to pretty pictures and blurbs mostly and never really explain what these things are, why they are important or give you any real sense of scale. So since I like to beat on the drum of better communication of science, here is a little more detail to add to the good einhverfr's post.

The progenitors of SNIa are most likely white dwarfs composed of carbon nitrogen and oxygen, probably with a companion star from which they are stripping matter. They are very compact on the order of a few thousand kilometers at most, and really dense - more than the mass of the sun. They aren't hot enough to support fusion - they are supported by Pauli pressure; quantum mechanics doesn't allow two electrons in the same state at the same time so though gravity tries to compact these objects there is a Pauli pressure outward to balance it.

This can't go on forever in these progenitor systems however, and if the white dwarf strips enough matter of its companion to get to ~1.4 solar masses (the Chandrashekar limit) then Pauli pressure isn't strong enough to balance gravity and the star begins to collapse and when that happens pressure and temperature rises and somewhere a nuclear fusion flame ignites. Details about what happens near collapse, and where and how the flame ignites, and how many there are and how they progress are still debated. In this particular model they are considering only a single flame (so far) and its a "gravitationally confined detonation" (GCD - the name of this particular model).

Its a little difficult to get a sense of scale from those videos, though there are numbers in the bottom corner. The flame starts of near or just of center and becomes bubble/mushroom shaped through a Rayleigh-Taylor instability [wikipedia.org] and breaks the stellar surface in under a second. Its less than another second before the ash and flame from the bubble collides at the opposite end of the star. This flame crashing into itself (see video 1) causes compression and a detonation.

Theres been a lot of debate as to whether its a deflagration or a detonation or whether it transitions from one to the other and how and when that happens and us poor graduate students just hope they don't go crazy over details of the progenitors during our qualifying examinations. This is notable because there appears to be a growing number of voices who are saying that a detonation is necessary. These events are so standard because they all become SNIa if they get near 1.4 solar masses. There is a fair bit of diversity (and some just crazy objects) and most of that probably arises from details during the explosion which is why modeling them is partly why the models are so important.

There is still a lot of modeling left to do. This flame is producing a lot of heavy elements (there is O, S, Ca, Mg and Si in the early spectra - the silicon feature is around 6150 angstrom in the rest frame and is the marker of a Ia at low to moderate redshifts). As the outer layers expand and become more transparent you see more of the material produced during the explosion and a lot of this is Nickel (Ni-56) which decays to cobalt and powers the light curve so you get this typically 2 week rise and then a slow fall off. Later times most of the Ni has become cobalt which is decaying to iron and you see these elements in the spectrum. The energies we are talking about here are about 10^45 Joules. A H bomb by contrast is 10^15 Joules so 30 order of magnitude. Unless you can picture 10^30 H bombs going off its hard to get a feeling for this number but thats generally the case with numbers in cosmology.

There are a lot of empirical relations you see from the lightcurve, which are exploited to standardize them (for instance the brighter the supernova, the slower its rate of decline, and there are relations for the colour...) and if a model can replicate them and match the observed lightcurves and spectra then this is a very impressive accomplishment. I skimmed their latest paper [lanl.gov] and haven't seen model lightcurves but eventually the models will get good enough. I remember while I was still an undergrad reading a paper [arxiv.org] which had some lightcurves that agreed very well with reality in some filters (over some wavelength ranges) and not others.

Our understanding of cosmology and dark energy depend a lot on our understanding of supernovae, particularly how bright and far away they are, and to do that our best models are templates based on nearby supernovae. We figure out their redshift from spectra and how bright they are from the lightcuve and these two numbers give you the information you need to construct a Hubble diagram, and since and we use that along with information from the cosmic microwave background to put constraints on the amount of matter and dark energy and its nature. So our understanding of cosmology and dark energy depend a lot on our understanding of supernovae, particularly how bright and far away they are, and to do that our best models are templates based on nearby supernovae. A model of SNIa allows you to pose questions like how supernovae evolve with redshift (i.e. over time) apart from making things less empirical.

Re:more detail (1)

andersa (687550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18456179)

Its a little difficult to get a sense of scale from those videos, though there are numbers in the bottom corner. The flame starts of near or just of center and becomes bubble/mushroom shaped through a Rayleigh-Taylor instability and breaks the stellar surface in under a second. Its less than another second before the ash and flame from the bubble collides at the opposite end of the star. This flame crashing into itself (see video 1) causes compression and a detonation.

I don't get it. The flame expands outward to the surface in less than a second. I am ok so far. Now to do that the material would need to have a lot of momentum in the direction it is going, so how does it suddenly turn around and crash into itself on the other side? Not by gravity, or? Is there a pressure wave caused by the flame that travels along the surface and meets with itself on the other side, causing increased pressure and detonation as a result?

Re:more detail (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18456591)

It makes sense if you watch the animations after reading that very cogent explaination offered above.

Virtual Supernova: readable article (1)

martyb (196687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18456595)

Quoth the parent poster:

I don't get it. The flame expands outward to the surface in less than a second. I am ok so far. Now to do that the material would need to have a lot of momentum in the direction it is going, so how does it suddenly turn around and crash into itself on the other side? Not by gravity, or? Is there a pressure wave caused by the flame that travels along the surface and meets with itself on the other side, causing increased pressure and detonation as a result?

I found that passage confusing, too. I did some googling and found another (quite readable) article [northwestern.edu] that suggests it is the latter:

It maps the progress of stellar ash and nuclear flame from the start as a tiny instability at or near the center of the star to the point where this "bubble" of material bursts through the star's surface and spreads out. It encircles the surface of the star, pushing a tidal wave of material ahead of it.

Re:more detail (1)

Nemosoft Unv. (16776) | more than 7 years ago | (#18459963)

I don't get it. The flame expands outward to the surface in less than a second. I am ok so far. Now to do that the material would need to have a lot of momentum in the direction it is going, so how does it suddenly turn around and crash into itself on the other side?>

It is not the material itself that 'turns around', but rather the gas/plasma pressure increase that propagates (at nearly relativistic speeds, no less. The simulated star was earth-sized; imagine traveling to the other side of our planet in 1 second. That's how fast it goes).

A proper analogy would be sound: when you speak, your voice travels over 300 meter/second in air; yet, the air itself doesn't move at 300 meter/second; just the pressure gradient.

Re:more detail (1)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 7 years ago | (#18460973)

I was going to ask "how do you see it if it doesn't fuse", but then I got smart and read the Wikipedia page on white dwarfs [wikipedia.org] which was really quite good, from a layman's perspective.

Cheers and thanks for the wonderful comment,
-l

A better article on the supernova simulation (0, Troll)

Ace905 (163071) | more than 7 years ago | (#18455319)

There's a much better, and more recent article on this simulation hosted at www.nasa.gov - but the site is unbelievably slow to load as of late. You can see the nasa.gov article mirrored at http://douginadress.com/news/spaceexploration/berk eley_labs_supernova_data_crunching.html [douginadress.com]

Parent is a Troll - MOD DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18458493)

Parent is a troll and uses the same site over [slashdot.org] and over [slashdot.org] again [slashdot.org]

ITS A TARP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18459531)

It's a trap!!@#!#!@!@#!#@!

Fermi Paradox (0)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 7 years ago | (#18455405)

As I have stated before here in other postings, I believe that simulation is the unrecognized and discounted factor that accounts for the Fermi Paradox, the fudge factor in the Drake equation that explains why we don't have aliens walking among us today. We are getting quite good at simulating reality ourselves, and there is no reason why extraterrestrial intelligences wouldn't do the exact same thing.

At some point soon, the synthesis of our scientific knowledge will allow us to assume, with considerable certainty, that aliens with similar biology and physics exist, probably in other solar systems in this galaxy and almost certainly in other galaxies.

They have of course reached the same conclusions and that is why they aren't trying to contact us.

We don't have to go exploring to find them. It's cheaper to just imagine them and simulate them. The real problem is what do we do if we decide to believe this?

Re:Fermi Paradox (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18456451)

"The real problem is what do we do if we decide to believe this?"

I hate to state the obvious but we would go looking for them and if we didn't find them, we would go "back to the drawing board". It's science 101...

1. Observe.

2. Model.

3. Predict.

4. Repeat.

Science is littered with dead models, not to put too fine a point on it but that's how it works. The only belief required says that "the real world exists as something seperate from the internal model created by my brain, commonly called perception". Just because the Greeks percived the universe as "wheels within wheels" does not mean the model was useless, even the people who built stonehenge had some sort of model for what they saw in the heavens and put it to good use creating massive astronomical calenders.

We have now refined our models to such an extent that one of them (information theory) tells us we cannot create an exact simulation of the universe within said universe, it also tells us that science will forever be "incomplete" and it's method of refinement is affected by "the halting problem", but I fail to see how any of this could possibly be a BadThing(TM).

Perhaps in 100yrs time many of our current models will look as silly as Newtons one million words on the number 666, or perhaps there is another dark age on the way and our descendents will fail to recognise the power of models for the next millenia or two.

Obligatory Tigh quote (1)

AxminsterLeuven (963108) | more than 7 years ago | (#18455791)

"You seen one nova, you seen 'em all."

Imagine.. (0, Redundant)

Punch-Drunk Slob (973904) | more than 7 years ago | (#18456353)

A beouwulf cluster of these!!!

10 year project grant pays off (1)

Anthony (4077) | more than 7 years ago | (#18456485)

Looks like the 10 year visionary project [uchicago.edu] paid off right at the end. Long term financing was required along with faith in the project's people.

But what about this... (0, Troll)

masnare (922658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18456825)

Scientists just recently learned new things [spaceref.com] about our closest star that are changing the way they study/view it. How is possible that we can create a reliable simulation based on information that's changing?

I'm no astrophysicist, but it seems sketchy. So they made a movie. So what?

Re:But what about this... (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18459581)

Well, you are correct, to a point...

We need to keep the scientific method in mind anytime we read a study. Far too many people are willing to take a study as an absolute truth instead of a new way of seeing an incident. This coupled with the fact that too many people already have a problem with the concept of a law and a theory makes talking about science in a meaningful way fairly hard.

So yes, there is tons to be discovered even in our own backyard but at the same time theories and predictions can be made with some degree on without knowing everything there is to know. For example, we didn't need microscopes and such to know that a muscle's contractions is what makes a body move but on the other hand we needed better powers of observation to understand the virus. I'm sure our theories on astronomical events of this nature will be a topic of debate for a long time to come but it doesn't hurt to consider the possibilities. Be thankful for it too; it's the way of progress.

Re:But what about this... (1)

pln2bz (449850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18461773)

So yes, there is tons to be discovered even in our own backyard but at the same time theories and predictions can be made with some degree on without knowing everything there is to know.

I accept your logic. But you fall short of describing the complete scientific method. If you make assumptions, and then make additional observations that tend to disconfirm your assumptions, then there are times when your discoveries should cause you to re-examine your initial assumptions. We've launched all sorts of probes and telescopes since we came up with our astronomical theories, and although you can make a case that the data does match the theory, attempts to prove otherwise have fallen out of favor. So, by adopting the assumptions as "mainstream" and then moving on as business-as-usual, we've damaged the objectivity of science. People are more inclined to believe the assumptions than the disconfirmatory data returned from the probes and telescopes. That is an important part of the story of astronomy today.

One of the most curious things that nobody seems to be talking about is how astrophysicists appear to have garnered for themselves the right within the scientific community to dictate science back to the domains from which astrophysics is based upon. Not only is astrophysics a meta-science, but if you judge astrophysicists on how confident they are in their *interpretations* of their observations, they appear to believe that it is the *foundation* of science. This is problematic because it frequently causes us to favor their interpretation over other peoples' laboratory work and even mankind's common sense (dark matter and dark energy, for instance). This failure of context has the potential to bleed into all of our textbooks like a virus. Many people, like myself, believe that it has already happened. Even if you don't, no rational scientist can hold up this system and declare that it is impervious to major potential problems.

This thread's originator is an example of somebody awakening from a sleep ... coming to the awareness that, wait a minute, should I be believing what these people are telling me? ...

Scientists just recently learned new things [spaceref.com] about our closest star that are changing the way they study/view it. How is possible that we can create a reliable simulation based on information that's changing?

I'm no astrophysicist, but it seems sketchy. So they made a movie. So what?

If this person digs a little bit further into the issues, he may also discover that we've discovered many very unusual morphologies for supernova remnants (the classic being 1987A) that appear to violate our early assumptions regarding stellar evolution. So, how can you possibly consider a supernova to be a "standard candle" if all we have to show for our understanding of them is retroactive simulations and a theory that has underperformed in its predictive capabilities? Many of the supernova remnants are hourglass morphologies. One wonders exactly what perspective the observer must be in in order for the "standard candle" luminosity during the explosion to apply?!%$ It's patently absurd, if you ask me.

For the mainstreamers out there, this is how interest within against-the-mainstream ideas begin. People stop *listening* and start *thinking* about what they're being told. They remember that they have a brain that can perform simple logic, even when complicated issues are involved. Oftentimes, an expert or enthusiast will then chime in with some complex evidence regarding the CMB or some textbook astronomy facts regarding the mainstream opinion. But their words are fashioned solely to cause the person asking the questions to stop *thinking* and conform back to the mainstream. They rarely stop and wonder, "Wait, maybe I swallowed bullshit too!"

It's all quite a spectacle, if you ask me. It's very possible that either (a) our children will laugh at us (best case scenario) or (b) our children will be angry with us, or the worst case scenario, (c) our children will be fighting for their very survival because we wasted a bunch of valuable time inventing fairy tales about what we think space *should* be rather than just looking at what it *is*.

As I oftentimes do, and as I oftentimes earn scorn for doing, I highly encourage anybody who is skeptical of things like standard candles for hourglass morphologies to consider newer cosmological theories based upon plasma. One of the discoveries we've made over the past couple of decades is that space is filled with charged particles. And yet, our beliefs that currents do not flow over these charged particles AS THEY DO IN THE LABORATORY persists. Nearly all of the anomalous observations in astronomy today (the lack of water on comets, the intense 100 million K temperatures in stellar nurseries, dark matter, dark energy, strange supernova remnants, huge magnetic fields in space, black holes that undeniably spew *matter* out, the rotational characteristics of spiral galaxies, the existence of stars which are too cool and small to support fusion, the inverse correlation between neutrinos and sunspots, the pervasiveness of synchrotron radiation in space, the strange temperature of the Sun's corona and the unusual acceleration of the solar wind, the fact that a million mph flow of electricity has been observed at the Sun's poles, the strange "eyes" at the planetary poles, the link between the solar cycle and the movement of the gas giant planets and most importantly, the fact that the Sun and the entire solar system is inexplicably warming) ... all of this can be explained when you go back to magnetohydrodynamics, as suggested by the father of plasma physics (Hannes Alfven), and fix the equations that dictate that plasma in space will typically act like a gas. If you let plasma act like electrical plasma as it does within the laboratory experiments, then it is an electrical phenomenon. No frozen-in magnetic fields. No instantaneous neutralization of charge. Let the plasma have resistance. Let the current flow in the equations. And all of these strange things become the *predictable* consequence of a plasma-filled universe.

People are doing this right now. They're called Electric Universe Theorists. For a good summary of their theory, read Don Scott's new book _The Electric Sky_.

Now, I'll proceed to tie myself to the stake and pour gasoline upon myself. It's become routine now. I know what to do.

Re:But what about this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18467649)

>>Now, I'll proceed to tie myself to the stake and pour gasoline upon myself. It's become routine now. I know what to do.

LOL. I noticed you mentioned in some previous posts that if a person wants to argue for EU theory you will get better with time and practice as you give arguments.
Ill have to admit your posts are really clear and concise and have improved. I would have to quit my day job to make posts as long and as neat as yours.

I notice that when people mod you troll and argue against you they dont really provide much substance. They will say "EU theory has been proven wrong get over it" or something to that effect but NEVER provide any examples or cite any references. The most I saw recently was some guy posted a URL to some chart about background radiation and that was it. woop dee doo.

Anyways keep at it!

PS: I went to the bad astronomy forum and didnt really care all that much for it. maybe some interesting thing here and there but a lot of noise.

Re:But what about this... (1)

pln2bz (449850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18471955)

It's a constant process of doubting your own arguments though. In this particular case, I screwed up a little bit because 1987A is categorized as a Type II supernova, which is not used as a standard candle. Type 1a supernovae are used for standard candles.

One of the difficult things in thinking about the arguments on both sides is merely keeping track of all of the categorization that has been created to accomodate the observations to the Big Bang and stellar evolution theories. Traditional theories tend to break the universe into parts and conquer them one at a time because a gravity-centric universe would lead to a bunch of disconnected processes. EU Theory, on the other hand, attempts to understand unifying principles within the universe because it proposes that the system is for the most part interconnected by filamentary plasma. I try very hard to get everything right by fact-checking, but sometimes things slip through. Better here, though, than on a stage in front of a thousand people (which is where I hope to one day end up).

In the end, you have to spend just as much time learning about the traditional theories as you do EU Theory. But the more you do that, the more it pays off. It's easy to argue *for* EU Theory. But it's much harder to argue *against* BB Theory and stellar evolution with people who are familiar with the latest research.

It's educational to at least take a quick peek at the Bad Astronomy Forums (although I'm with you in that I can't take too much of it). It raises your awareness that there are very complicated debates happening on the subject. Most importantly, it also demonstrates the attitude amongst the mainstream astrophysicists that they do not believe it is their burden to investigate all cosmologies. The public is not really aware that this is happening. Many people consider BB Theory to be too theological for them. But they accept that since it's discussed the most, then it must have the most evidence. But it's the choice of the mainstream astrophysicists to generate that evidence. They can also generate confirmatory evidence for plasma-based cosmologies too. They just don't want to. This is one of the things that the public needs to learn. It could have a dramatic impact upon the global warming debate. When the solar system appears to be inexplicably warming, there is a burden to investigate all possible explanations. For the astrophysicists to allow their preferences and prejudices to get into the way of solving a problem that threatens the existence of all people is on some level both selfish and irrational.

By the way, although people still like to point to the cosmic microwave background data every chance they get, astrophysicists are still having difficulty proving that the light originates from the edges of the universe. If objects between us and the light do not cast shadows, then the light would have a local origin. I've seen it speculated that the microwave radiation could in fact be the result of filamentary plasma moving currents through space. It would be somewhat ironic if the astrophysicists have accidentally stumbled upon a mechanism for proving the pervasiveness of electrical plasma in space when in fact they were trying to prove an afterglow from an explosion.

Re:But what about this... (1)

pln2bz (449850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18472633)

I wanted to add one more thing to my previous response.

What's happening right now with astrophysics is extraordinary. It's never been the case to my knowledge that modern man has been so wrong about something and simultaneously so confident in his wrong beliefs. The implications can potentially be catastrophic in the long-term. But there is a little-mentioned business side to this story. The EU Theorists have done a great job of laying down the groundwork for some possibly lucrative financial ventures. I mention this because if this is something that you have an interest in, it might pain you ten years from now to see others making a bunch of money off of it when in fact you had a head start on those people who will be doing so.

The theory could act as an excellent foundation or starting point for a movie script or book. My personal goal is somewhat different though: I want to create a small crew, a traveling road show, based upon a Burning Man style geodesic dome camp that can be disassembled and packed into a freight truck. The goal is to make the science entertaining. This is where electricity comes in. Electricity by itself has lots of excitement potential. The show I want to put on will be part demonstration, part live performance (perhaps with ambient DJ's, drummers and fire dancers) and a big part educational. I want to convert all of the concepts of EU Theory into CGI graphics. I want people with no math skills to be able to compare the two sets of simulations (mainstream vs EU) so that they can formulate an opinion on their own. My dome will have numerous projectors, plasma globes, jacob's ladders, tesla coils, perhaps a terrella and exhibitions involving plasma phenomenon. There will be simulated lightning strikes in audio and with special effects, and fire art worked into the show. But the main purpose will be to present the evidence for EU Theory in the form of CGI graphics that can be selected in real-time. I want to be able to move through the graphics at my own pace as I explain the concepts. This will be a place where EU concepts can be heard by the public in the absence of dissenting mainstream astrophysicists (as happens on this forum). The crew for this show would probably have to live on a bus and would travel around the world, delivering the EU message throughout primarily North America and Europe. It's an unusual concept that I'm only on the early stages of planning for. But if that sort of thing interests you, or if you know anybody with CGI experience, let me know. I'll probably start building the dome within another two years for Burning Man. It will start as a Burning Man camp for 2-3 years, and then once I get enough equipment going, I will transition it to a road show and start making money off of it. I hope to build my own CGI cluster within 1-2 years. If I have to learn CGI myself, I'll do it. But I'm always searching out for people to join me. I already have a close friend who knows how to handle professional audio and video equipment. Just thought I'd mention it. It's obviously a long-term goal, but it's something that I am committed to seeing through. That's how I will fit into this whole picture. I'm not a theorist. I'm just the middle man for the conveyance of information to the public.

Re:But what about this... (1)

der_pinchy (1053896) | more than 7 years ago | (#18524169)

Sounds like an interesting plan. I was thinking that EU proponents should at least do speeches at colleges and the like. Try to get the word out there and have an effective presentation. I think maybe 1.5 hour or so would do the trick.

Are any of the guys affiliated with thunderbolts.info doing anything like that? I know theres problems with the peer review thing and submitting papers but I think presentations at educational institutions would be the best route.

A traveling roadshow sounds neat but risky. Its like going to some major movie studio and telling them you have this idea for a movie that you want to direct but never done anything like it before. Could flop big time or not, you never know.

Is there anyway to contact you without having to resort to posting email address?

Re:But what about this... (1)

pln2bz (449850) | more than 7 years ago | (#18546241)

You can reach me directly at pln2bz@vireo.net. I don't mind posting my email address. To be honest, nobody on this forum really cares what I think. And I don't care that they know what I'm doing.

There is nobody currently focusing on the educational system, believe it or not -- not since Hannes Alfven at least, who died more than a decade ago. Hannes Alfven was smart in that he left many descendants of his inquisitive philosophy. You can run into these guys all over the place on the web. The best thing, believe it or not, is that they don't all agree with one another like the mainstream astrophysicists do these days.

The main issue with your idea is that you're underestimating the reaction that you would receive from the astrophysics staff at any university you attended with an astrophysics department. They all unanimously consider EU Theory to be pseudo-scientific because they have all been taught, ironically enough, Alfven's *early* works on frozen-in-place magnetic fields. Few of them are aware that Alfven actually tried to convince everybody during his Nobel Prize acceptance speech for magnetohydrodynamics that currents must be causing the magnetic fields. I've noticed this once firsthand here on these forums. One of the few astrophysicists I've actually run into on these forums tried to correct me on this point and I had to go back and find the specific quotes. All of this doesn't really mean that your idea is bad. It just means that you need to be prepared for resistance, and when it happens, you should thrive off of it. You need to have some plan for taking advantage of the resistance within the media. Use the "bad" publicity that you will inevitably get and somehow turn it into a good thing that gets EU theories and proponents more exposure. This can be tricky because the 30-second sound byte works against you: it's currently far more believable to an uninformed audience to claim that electricity does not flow through space than it is to assert that dark matter doesn't exist. So long as dark matter is not really specified in any detail, it retains an element of possibility. The second you start getting into specifics about electricity flowing over diffuse interstellar clouds of matter and into the Sun, it's easy for people to knock you down as being absurd even though you may know much more about the issue than others.

For these reasons, I suspect that at least initially, targeted anonymously posted materials would be more effective than live talks at universities. I've spent a lot of time contemplating this and I even got to a point where I was planning out fliers for creation and distribution. The Thunderbolts crew, I'm sure, would enjoy being a part of this. If you decided to travel around the country, for instance, visiting the premier astrophysical institutions and posting bills or leaving copies of some type of EU materials so that they could be found by astrophysics students, this would certainly have a long-term impact and the EU people would probably offer their help. Wallace Thornhill, the guy who kind of took over where Alfven left off, says in his bio that he had to leave the educational system because he became so discouraged by the atmosphere. As a side note, you should be aware that the EU guys are on the verge of creating a public user forum, where enthusiasts can talk to one another about such things.

The problem is that, although this would be *very* fun, there is no money in this. You would have to somehow have a reserve to draw upon and a never-ending will to just do good in the absence of profit.

My idea of the traveling road show isn't actually as risky as it sounds when you consider that I'm starting out at Burning Man, a non-commercial venue that has a high percentage of my real target audience. That event is attended by huge numbers of tech-savvy silicon valley entrepreneurs and CEO's, believe it or not. There is an element of certainty that something positive (in terms of connections) would develop from that experience. Over the course of several years, I could fine-tune the experience for the audience. 40,000+ people attend the event every year, many for a full week, and there is already another entertainer there called Dr. Megavolt who specializes in Tesla Coils. He draws huge crowds. Although much is, much of the audience there is not focused on partying. There is a huge segment that is contemplative and wants a more mellow awareness-raising experience. MAPS, the organization that's about to succeed in legalizing MDMA use for treatment of Iraqi vets experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, give speeches there now about psychedelic drugs. So, you have the people who are there living in the moment and you have the people who actually want to go home having learned something. I see this trend occurring and I think that I can capitalize on it. I've been to Burning Man for 8 consecutive years now. It definitely progresses as time moves forward. You can see dramatic changes from year to year.

Thing is, people who have not been to Burning Man have no idea of the scale of the art. And when art from Burning Man makes it out into the real world, it can really draw crowds. Many people are not aware that these sorts of things are being built. My idea is not too different than the idea of the planetarium. When it differs, it's better. Also, my geodesic dome has a better chance of breaking into the mainstream media than the theory itself. It's a lot easier to get a spectacle that can be photographed into a newspaper than it is to do the same for some sort of obscure theory. And it's all about trying to explain the debate on both sides with CGI graphics. If you can translate the formulas and theories into graphics that people can compare, then on that level, the EU theories typically win out. It becomes apparent that EU Theory describes events in terms that are native to the actions of electrical plasma rather than the large number of chance encounters or improbable events that are oftentimes suggested by traditional non-plasma theories.

Once the idea catches on more with the public, only *then* will the astrophysicists accept that there is a debate and only *then* will it be possible to give talks at universities. But the people who should be giving those talks should be astrophysicists or EU Theorists. I hope to become a technical entertainer. I'll probably never be a plasma physicist or cosmologist. The astrophysics community operates in part on public consensus these days. So, if you study what Al Gore has done with global warming, you can see that there is a way to break into the scientific community by going through the public. It's completely backwards, to be honest. But it has to be like that because the astrophysicists are really stubborn. Their hubris is holding back their own field right now more than anything else.

Iron? Am I wrong? (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18457593)

FTFB: the initial burst that is thought to be the source of much of the iron in the universe

I always thought that iron was produced without the nova and that it was elements that are heavier than iron that were created by the blast. Am I wrong on this?

Re:Iron? Am I wrong? (1)

32Na (894547) | more than 7 years ago | (#18459157)

I agree, (type II) supernovae actually destroy their iron core in order to create heavier nuclei from the new, neutron-rich environment.
Here's a link:
http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/R/r-proc ess.html [daviddarling.info]
Here, they are simulating a type I supernova: a white dwarf that 'steals' mass from its neighbor until it reaches some critical mass, and we see a supernova.

A bit grandiose, I'd say. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18457689)

It was a pretty darned good nova, but I wouldn't go so far as to say it was super.

Now the '69 Yenko Nova (the ones with big blocks, not the LT-1 350's for 1970). That was a super Nova!

is it just me.... (1)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | more than 7 years ago | (#18458281)

or does anybody else have a sudden craving for pop corn?

D'oh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18458477)

Using 700 processors and 58,000 hours, they produced a three second movie...
I told them they should've stayed away from Windows Vista! Scientists never learn...

Counterintuitive (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#18459299)

What's fascinating to me is the behavior of the explosion front. At first it seems counterintuitive for it to 'burrow' towards the surface and burst asymetrically. But when you stop and think about it, that is the behavior you should expect - the expansion is the direction of least resistance, into regions of lower pressure.

a 3 sec movie ??? (1)

PermanentMarker (916408) | more than 7 years ago | (#18459385)

What a waste of copmuter time and energy.
Didn't they have a good 3d application.
How about povray or 3d max joking..

but only 3 sec thats almost nothing...

1...2...3 and here is our electricity bill and hardware bill ping $1xx.xxx.xxx.-

6 years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18460143)

By the time the simulation finished the current processors are what, about 5 times faster?

Did they upgrade the processors as it ran or just let it run as-is? Seems like it could have been completed faster if they continually upgraded the processors.

Real ultimate power! (1)

Dasher42 (514179) | more than 7 years ago | (#18460919)

If you need any help picturing what they're studying, this professor's here to tell you why a supernova would be totally awesome [nagt.org] !
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