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A group of Lawrence Livermore scientists is using the computational power of Department of Energy supercomputers to accurately predict the performance of advanced materials. Their field of research is called computational materials science, one of the fastest growing areas within the chemistry and materials science disciplines. The computer codes they use incorporate a concept called multiscale modeling, in which a material's properties are followed through length scales from nanometers to meters and time scales from nanoseconds to tens of years. In this way, the codes simulate the evolution of mechanical and chemical changes in materials. The Livermore simulation work is closely tied to laboratory experiments to ensure that simulations accurately reflect
the physical properties of materials being modeled. The simulation work is clearly showing, for the first time, the physical mechanisms underlying radiation damage.
Systems scientists practice the multidisciplinary art of gathering information and constructing the systems models needed to help project managers make informed decisions. Their expertise in decision analysis, computer science, industrial engineering, simulation modeling, and systems engineering is put to use on projects ranging from planning for National Ignition Facility operations to forecasting Lawrence Livermore's electric energy demand. They perform reliability, availability, and maintainability (RAM) analyses and discrete-event simulations to optimize just-in-time manufacturing. They perform probabilistic risk assessments for safety analyses of buildings at Livermore and assess the risk associated with transporting spent nuclear fuel. And they use Monte Carlo simulations to find the best method for processing plutonium no longer needed for national defense. Their mathematical and statistical analyses are used to help discriminate seismic sources for treaty verification, allocate resources for contaminant cleanup at Livermore's experimental test site, and develop a model for energy use in China.
and LLNL Disclaimers