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The principal mission of the Institute for Scientific Computing Research is to foster interactions among LLNL researchers, universities, and industry on selected topics in scientific computing. In the area of computational physics, the Institute has developed a new algorithm, GaPH, to help scientists understand the chemistry of turbulent and driven plasmas or gases at far less cost than other methods. New low-frequency electromagnetic models better describe the plasma etching and deposition characteristics of a computer chip in the making. A new method for modeling realistic curved boundaries within an orthogonal mesh is resulting in a better understanding of the physics associated with such boundaries and much quicker solutions. All these capabilities are being developed for massively parallel implementation, which is an ongoing focus of Institute researchers. Other groups within the Institute are developing novel computational methods to address a range of other problems. Examples include feature detection and motion recognition by computer, improved monitoring of blood oxygen levels, and entirely new models of human joint mechanics and prosthetic devices.
In support of the Laboratory's scientific stockpile stewardship mission, we have developed a multibeam Fabry-Perot velocimetry system to more efficiently measure continuous velocities during our experiments. These data are invaluable for testing the adequacy of our hydrodynamic computer modeling codes. A new fiber-optic system and Laboratory-designed optical devices allow us to obtain five or even ten continuous velocity records from an experiment using just one Fabry-Perot interferometer. Before the advent of this system, we could obtain only one record per interferometer. We have also developed a dual-cavity interferometer that greatly facilitates reading the interference fringes recorded during our experiments.
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