– IBM Supercomputing Record Awarded with Gordon Bell Prize –
A team of researcher using the IBM Blue Gene systems to simulate 15’000 fluid bubbles achieved a new supercomputing record and was awarded the prestigious 2013 Gordon Bell Prize. The technical importance of this simulation lies in the fact, that when bubbles burst (cavitate), they can be very destructive, causing tremendous damage.
Using one of the fastest supercomputers in the world, the IBM Blue Gene/Q “Sequoia” at LLNL, the team simulated 15’000 bubbles, a 150-fold improvement over previous research and a 20-fold reduction in time to solution. These improvements pave the way for the investigation of a complex phenomena called cloud cavitation collapse (video). This occurs when vapor cavities or bubbles are formed in a liquid due to changes in pressure. When these bubbles implode they can generate damaging shockwaves.
The scientists at ETH Zurich and IBM Research, in collaboration with the Technical University of Munich and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), have bigger ideas than just improving industrial technology. The implodingbubbles also have the potential to shatter kidney stones and destroy tumorous cancer cells. The scientists hope the attention attracted by the award will open up new opportunities to collaborate with medical doctors to further explore the applications of bubble cavitation in healthcare.