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RIT Scientists Use Supercomputers to ‘See’ Black Holes.

Rochester Institute of Technology (10/19/09) Gawlowicz, Susan

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) scientists will use several grants to expand their supercomputer and use two of the world’s fastest supercomputers to advance research on black holes. RIT researchers are using supercomputers to run mathematics and computer graphics to simulate elements of black holes that cannot be seen directly. “It is a thrilling time to study black holes,” says RIT’s Manuela Campanelli. “We’re nearing the point where our calculations will be used to test out one of the last unexplored aspects of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, possibly confirming that it properly describes the strongest gravitational fields in the universe.” RIT’s computer lab hosts NewHorizons, a cluster that consists of 85 nodes with four processors each, connected through an Infiniband network capable of sending data at 10 Gbps. The researchers recently received an $85,000 U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to improve their computer power by nearly 50 percent with an additional 20 nodes. The researchers also were awarded 3.5 million CPU hours on the Ranger supercomputer through the TeraGrid. The researchers also received a NSF grant that reserves time on Blue Waters, a supercomputer that is scheduled to begin production in 2011 at the University of Illinois’ National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Blue Waters will consist of more than 200,000 processing cores, and is expected to be the most powerful supercomputer in the world for open scientific research.

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