Caught the movie "Deep Impact" yet? Just how real-to-life does Steven Spielberg's blockbuster portray an asteroid striking the planet Earth? Computer scientists at Sandia National Laboratories think they can better approximate a real asteroid catastrophe. Using virtual reality techniques, decades of experience in shock physics, advanced computer programs, and the world's fastest computer, the scientists recently completed one of the largest hypervelocity impact physics calculations ever performed. In the computing scenario, an asteroid 1.4 km in diameter strikes the Atlantic Ocean 25 miles south of Brooklyn, NY. To model the event, the scientists broke up a 120-square-mile space that roughly corresponds to the New York City metropolitan area, the air above, and the water and earth below, into 100 million separate grids. Sandia's teraflops supercomputer then calculated what happened in each cube as the asteroid splashed down. The researchers then reassembled the cubes to produce a 3D movie of the collision. How did Spielberg do? According to the simulation, the impact would vaporize the asteroid, deform the ocean floor, and eject hundreds of cubic miles of superheated water vapor, melted rock, and other debris into the upper atmosphere and back into space. The debris would rain down over the world for the next several hours and form a high global cloud. The shock wave from the impact would level much of the New England region. E-mail email@example.com.
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.