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Supercomputing

Supercomputer Adds Credence to Standard Model 120

ScienceDaily is reporting that researchers at the University of Edinburgh and Southampton in cooperation with partners from Japan and the US have shed some light on the Standard Model of physics using a new computer model. "The project's enormously complex calculations relate to the behavior of tiny particles found in the nuclei of atoms, known as quarks. In order to carry out these calculations, the researchers first designed and built a supercomputer that was among the fastest in the world, capable of tens of trillions of calculations per second. The computations themselves have taken a further three years to complete. Their result shows that the Standard Model's claim to be the best theory invented holds firm. It raises the stakes for the riddle to be solved by experiments at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, which will switch on later this year. Physicists' efforts to confront Standard Model predictions using the most powerful computers available with the most precise experiments offer no clues about what to expect."
Moon

New Radar Maps of Moon 70

SpaceAdmiral writes to mention that NASA has some new high-resolution radar maps of the Moon obtained by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The new images have also been used to create a simulation of the Moon's day and a movie of a Moon landing from the point of view of the astronaut. "NASA is eying the Moon's south polar region as a possible site for future outposts. The location has many advantages; for one thing, there is evidence of water frozen in deep dark south polar craters. Water can be split into oxygen to breathe and hydrogen to burn as rocket fuel--or astronauts could simply drink it. Planners are also looking for 'peaks of eternal light.' Tall polar mountains where the sun never sets might be a good place for a solar power station."

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