Impact

The sustained-petaflop computing power and massive data resources provided by the Blue Waters system enable scientists and engineers from a wide range of disciplines and from institutions across the United States to make extraordinary leaps in knowledge and discovery. The petascale research conducted with Blue Waters provides new insights into hurricanes and tornadoes, supernovae, the formation of galaxies, earthquakes, and more.

Fixing and flexing biomolecular force fields
A University of Utah research group led by Thom Cheatham is using the massive scale of Blue Waters to rapidly and rigorously evaluate the force fields used in molecular dynamics simulations.

Voth team develops new MD code
With Blue Waters supplemental funding, the team developed a new coarse-grained molecular dynamics code that's designed to tackle really big, complex biomolecular processes, including HIV replication and the assembly of the HIV capsid.

Blue Waters enables the simulation of a key supernova phase at unprecedented resolution
With the extreme scale of the Blue Waters supercomputer, the UC Santa Cruz team led by Stan Woosley was able to complete a 3D simulation of a turbulent flame in a supernova at unprecedented resolution—135 m/zone, about eight times greater than typical simulations. These results were published in The Astrophysical Journal in February 2014.

Forecasting space weather with Blue Waters
“Now that we have been able to go beyond fluid models, which ignore details on small scales, we have uncovered new and unexpected effects and are finding ample evidence that physical processes occurring on small scales have global consequences,” explains Homa Karimabadi of the University of California, San Diego.

Physicists publish precise calculation of meson decay
With help from Blue Waters and other HPC systems, a team of high-energy physicists performs the most precise calculation to date of the decay of K and pi mesons.

Wit, grit and a supercomputer yield chemical structure of HIV capsid
Researchers report in the journal Nature that they have determined the precise chemical structure of the HIV capsid, a protein shell that protects the virus’s genetic material. The simulations that added the missing pieces to the puzzle were conducted during testing of Blue Waters.

Blue Waters team improves seismology code
The Blue Waters team helped researchers from the University of Wyoming dramatically improve performance of their seismology code by reducing the I/O bottleneck.

Virus unmasked
Blue Waters enables a U.S./China collaboration to reveal structure of a virus that causes a fatal disease in rabbits.

Understanding space weather with Blue Waters
Homayoun Karimabadi from the University of California-San Diego explains how his team is using the Blue Waters Early Science System to investigate magnetic reconnection, which triggers storms on the sun and allows the sun's radiation to enter Earth's magnetosphere.

Simulating supernovae with Blue Waters
Chris Malone and Andy Nonaka explains how their UC Santa Cruz/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory team is using the Blue Waters Early Science System to study how carbon and oxygen burn to iron during the initial stages of thermonuclear runaway as a white dwarf goes supernova.

Making science and engineering history
Researchers achieved impressive results during a tantalizing test run of the Blue Waters sustained petascale supercomputer earlier this year. According to biophysicist Klaus Schulten, "We are sure Blue Waters will make science and engineering history."

4 applications sustain 1 PF on Blue Waters
Four large-scale science applications (VPIC, PPM, QMCPACK and SPECFEM3DGLOBE) have run above 1 PF/s of sustained performance, and the Weather Research & Forecasting (WRF) run on Blue Waters is the largest WRF simulation ever documented