Engineers streamline jet engine design

Anyone who looks to the stars also dreams of going to space. Turning this dream into reality depends on countless technological advances. One of these is new rocket and aircraft engines, which are becoming easier and cheaper ...


Designing a puncture-free tire

Some golf carts and lawnmowers already use airless tires and at least one major tire company produces a non-pneumatic automotive tire, but we still have long way to go before they are on every vehicle that comes off the assembly ...

Computer Sciences

Water animation gets easier

From early story concepts to a theatrical release, full-length animated films can take years to create. One of the biggest time commitments comes during the animation process when the animators are simulating fluid materials, ...

Computer Sciences

Expecting the unexpected: A new model for cognition

Cognitive scientists are modeling the inner workings of the human brain using computer simulations, but many current models tend to be inaccurate. Researchers in the Cognitive Neurorobotics Unit at the Okinawa Institute of ...


Engineers build fleet of autonomous boats that shapeshift

MIT's fleet of robotic boats has been updated with new capabilities to "shapeshift," by autonomously disconnecting and reassembling into a variety of configurations, to form floating structures in Amsterdam's many canals.

Energy & Green Tech

Developing technologies that run on light

The future of faster, more efficient information processing may come down to light rather than electricity. Mark Lawrence, a postdoctoral scholar in materials science and engineering at Stanford, has moved a step closer to ...


New energy-efficient algorithm keeps UAV swarms helping longer

A new energy-efficient data routing algorithm developed by an international team could keep unmanned aerial vehicle swarms flying—and helping—longer, report an international team of researchers this month in the journal ...

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Computer simulation

A computer simulation, a computer model or a computational model is a computer program, or network of computers, that attempts to simulate an abstract model of a particular system. Computer simulations have become a useful part of mathematical modeling of many natural systems in physics (computational physics), chemistry and biology, human systems in economics, psychology, and social science and in the process of engineering new technology, to gain insight into the operation of those systems, or to observe their behavior.

Computer simulations vary from computer programs that run a few minutes, to network-based groups of computers running for hours, to ongoing simulations that run for days. The scale of events being simulated by computer simulations has far exceeded anything possible (or perhaps even imaginable) using the traditional paper-and-pencil mathematical modeling: over 10 years ago, a desert-battle simulation, of one force invading another, involved the modeling of 66,239 tanks, trucks and other vehicles on simulated terrain around Kuwait, using multiple supercomputers in the DoD High Performance Computer Modernization Program; a 1-billion-atom model of material deformation (2002); a 2.64-million-atom model of the complex maker of protein in all organisms, a ribosome, in 2005; and the Blue Brain project at EPFL (Switzerland), began in May 2005, to create the first computer simulation of the entire human brain, right down to the molecular level.

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