Noisy universe

September 23rd, 2015
The Planck satellite's full-sky data of hot, ionized dust in the galaxy, shown here, deflated a widely publicized finding of faster-than-light inflation of the universe immediately after the Big Bang. Scanning the sky from its post in Antarctica, the second-generation Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization (BICEP2) detected a telltale twist in the polarization of microwaves filtering to Earth from space. Thought to reside in the oldest light in the universe, the cosmic microwave background (CMB), the pattern was celebrated as evidence of inflation. But the Planck data showed that the twist was instead introduced by galactic dust. The search for evidence of inflation in the CMB continues. (Image: Planck Collaboration.)

Berkeley Lab cosmologists sift tsunamis of data for signals from the birth of galaxies.


Layered look

August 26th, 2015

With help from the Titan supercomputer, an Oak Ridge National Laboratory team is peering at the chemistry and physics between the layers of superconducting materials.


Bits of corruption

July 14th, 2015
The Q supercomputer at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Q was once the world's second-fastest supercomputer – and an early test subject for silent data corruption.

Los Alamos’ extensive study of HPC platforms finds silent data corruption in scientific computing – but not much.