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Story tips from the Department of Energys Oak Ridge National Laboratory, February 2004

s teraflops in 2006. Meanwhile, the SGI system also has passed its acceptance test, and researchers plan to evaluate running the entire 256-processor system with just one copy of the operating system. If they're successful, it would push the limits and open new possibilities in the name of science. Finally, the IBM Cheetah is undergoing an upgrade that will quadruple the speed of messages inside the machine. The hope is that this could double the performance of some applications. [Contact: Ron Walli, 865-576-0226; wallira@ornl.gov]

ASTROPHYSICS --Theory behind the spectacle . . .

New computer models have bolstered the case for a theory of what causes a white-dwarf supernova to occur. Under certain conditions, the massive stellar explosions happen when a white dwarf star in a binary system accretes material from its neighbor until, eventually, the big blast occurs. ORNL astrophysicists were among researchers who applied their computational and experimental support to work published in a paper by Arizona State University. The new models help explain why the white dwarf gathers the hydrogen from its companion instead of blowing off the material as it arrives. White-dwarf supernovae interest researchers because they are believed to be the stellar factories of the heavy elements such as iron, nickel and cobalt. They also have been used as "standard candles" for measuring astronomical distances. [Contact: Bill Cabage, 865-574-4399; cabagewh@ornl.gov]


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Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-1946
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
6-Feb-2004


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