A new high-resolution science documentary about the dynamics of the Sun will feature data-driven supercomputer visualizations produced by NCSA. Narrated by Benedict Cumberbach, Solar Superstorms debuts June 30 at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum in Baton Rouge before heading out to more than a dozen planetariums and science centers around the world.
“Using Blue Waters, we are for the first time running highly detailed, global simulations of the Earth-ionosphere waveguide under the effect of a geomagnetic storm. Disturbed ionospheric currents are modeled in a three-dimensional Maxwell’s equations finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) model extending from -400 km to an altitude of 400 km.”
“Our computing systems continue to evolve, providing significant challenges to the programming teams managing large, long-lived projects. Issues include rapidly increasing on-node parallelism, varying forms of heterogeneity, deepening memory hierarchies, growing concerns around resiliency and silent data corruption, and worsening storage bottlenecks.”
“Rapid growth in the use cases and demands for extreme computing and huge data processing is leading to convergence of the two infrastructures. The trend towards convergence is not only strategic however but rather inevitable as the Moore’s law ends such that sustained growth in data capabilities, not compute, will advance the capacity and thus the overall capacities towards accelerating research and ultimately the industry.”
“The highly parallel molecular dynamics code NAMD was was one of the first codes to run on a GPU cluster when G80 and CUDA were introduced in 2007, and is now used to perform petascale biomolecular simulations, including a 64-million-atom model of the HIV virus capsid, on the GPU-accelerated Cray XK7 Blue Waters and ORNL Titan machines.”
“The mathematics involved in simulating these events is very sophisticated because one has to solve the equations of Einstein’s general relativity and magneto-hydrodynamics all together. The problem also requires very advanced supercomputers running programs on tens of thousands of CPUs simultaneously, and the use of sophisticated techniques for data extraction and visualization. Petascale numerical simulation is therefore the only tool available to accurately model these systems.”