Articles written by Tony Fitzpatrick

About the Author

Tony Fitzpatrick writes about a wide variety of topics in science, technology and the environmental and agricultural sciences. His stories, articles and essays have appeared in newspapers and magazines nationwide. He is author of Signals from the Heartland.

December 2016

Nanogeometry

December, 2016 Updated: December, 2016

With a boost from the Titan supercomputer, a Berkeley Lab group works the angles on X-rays to analyze thin films of interest for the next generation of nanodevices.

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May 2016

Multitalented metric

May, 2016 Updated: October, 2016

An alternative computing benchmark emerges to reflect scientific performance.

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November 2014

Universe in a day

November, 2014 Updated: November, 2014

A team working on the Titan supercomputer simulates the biggest thing of all in a flash, then shares.

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October 2012

Overcoming resistance

October, 2012 Updated: October, 2012

To find a path around antibiotic resistance, a team working with the Intrepid supercomputer at Argonne National Laboratory is simulating molecular binding interactions to rapidly vet new infection-fighting candidates.

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A timely death

October, 2012 Updated: October, 2012

Speed kills, as the slogan says, and in computers what it kills could be disease. Argonne National Laboratory researcher Andrew Binkowski’s calculations of protein structure help find ligands – smaller molecules – that attach to them, to deliver drugs that stop dangerous infections. But without supercomputers it could take months to model a single ligand, […]

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July 2012

Twice-stuffed permafrost

July, 2012 Updated: July, 2012

A Pacific Northwest National Laboratory computation suggests that the water-gas compounds found in ocean permafrost can provide energy and store it, too – and then trap carbon dioxide.

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April 2011

A long view of Gulf oil spill

April, 2011 Updated: November, 2011

While others predicted when oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico might reach beaches, ocean modelers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the National Center for Atmospheric Research asked when gushing oil might exit the Gulf, where it would go and how diluted it’d be, up to a year later.

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Tracing CFCs and greenhouse gases

April, 2011 Updated: November, 2011

National Center for Atmospheric Research oceanographer Synte Peacock studies “the distribution of various tracers – something that tags a water mass and is carried around by ocean currents – to learn more about ocean circulation in the past and present.” These tracers include carbon and radiocarbon isotopes, paleotracers (fossils from the sea, in sediments and […]

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November 2010

In climate modeling, speed matters

November, 2010 Updated: November, 2011

A Brookhaven team wants to build the ‘fast physics’ behind clouds, air-suspended particles and precipitation into global climate models.

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The wings that fly FASTER

November, 2010 Updated: November, 2011

If FASTER can be considered a jet that speeds global climate modelers to analyze fast physics processes, its wings are the testbed and associated research. The testbed integrates two major “fast” components: a single column model (SCM), a roughly 100 kilometer by 100 km column that complements traditional global climate models; and a numerical weather […]

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