Feeds

Big Blue supers crunch kaon decay

Massive machines probe matter mystery

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Looking at the fundamental properties of matter can take some serious computing grunt.

Take the calculation needed to help understand kaon decay – a subatomic particle interaction that helps explain why the universe is made of matter rather than anti-matter: it soaked up 54 million processor hours on Argonne National Laboratory’s BlueGene/P supercomputer near Chicago, along with time on Columbia University’s QCDOC machine, Fermi National Lab’s USQCD (the US Center for Quantum Chromo-Dynamic) Ds cluster, and the UK’s Iridis cluster at the University of Southampton and the DIRAC facility.

The reason so much iron was needed: the kaon decay spans 18 orders of magnitude, which this Physorg article describes as akin to the size difference between “a single bacterium and the size of our entire solar system”. At the smallest scale, the decays measured in the experiment were 1/1000th of a femtometer.

“The actual kaon decay described by the calculation spans distance scales of nearly 18 orders of magnitude, from the shortest distances of one thousandth of a femtometer — far below the size of an atom, within which one type of quark decays into another — to the everyday scale of meters over which the decay is observed in the lab,” Brookhaven explains in its late March release.

Back in 1964, a Nobel-winning Brookhaven experiment observed CP (charge parity) violation, setting up a long-running mystery in physics that remains unsolved.

“The present calculation is a major step forward in a new kind of stringent checking of the Standard Model of particle physics — the theory that describes the fundamental particles of matter and their interactions — and how it relates to the problem of matter/antimatter asymmetry, one of the most profound questions in science today,” said Taku Izubuchi of the RIKEN BNL Research Center and BNL, a member of the research team hat published their findings in Physical Review Letters.

The research is seeking to quantify how much the kaon decay process departs from Standard Model predictions. This “unknown quantity” will then be hunted in calculations in the next generation of IBM supercomputers, BlueGene/Q. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp
Stats analysis reckons we'll hit that point in just three years
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
Nimble's latest mutants GORGE themselves on unlucky forerunners
Crossing Sandy Bridges without stopping for breath
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.