Los Alamos National LaboratoryBradbury Science Museum
Your Window into Los Alamos National Laboratory
Bradbury Science Museum

Scientist in the Spotlight this month: seeing nano and supercomputing reliability

Dec 10, 2016 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Bradbury Science Museum
1350 Central Ave, Los Alamos, NM 87544, USA
Linda Anderman
(505) 665-9196

Event Description

Stop by the second Saturday of each month and chat with our science folks. This month:

Seeing nano

Come by and play in a simplified version of a nano lab! Nano means one billionth of something so a nanometer is one billionth of a meter. To help put that in perspective, a sheet of newspaper is about 100,000 nanometers thick. So, how do you see something that’s smaller than a particle of light? If you stop by, Noah Orfield, with the Lab's Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, will help give you a sense of how such tiny structures can be observed in the lab and what we’re learning about their properties. You’ve just gotta “see” this. Fun for all ages.

How environments affects supercomputer reliability

The earth is under constant assault by cosmic radiation. This radiation includes high-energy neutrons that affect computer electronics and can cause data corruption. You don't typically see this on personal computers because of protections built into them and they are—physically—small targets. Compare that to supercomputers that are made up of densely packed circuits large enough to cover a football field to a height of seven feet. This activity depicts computer memory, how it stores its ones and zeros, and how a neutron bouncing through the memory could cause information corruption. Nathan DeBardeleben, with the High Performance Computing Design group, also illustrates the ways the high-performance computing community detects and corrects errors at the bleeding edge of massive and critical computation.