Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Rice University Announces NanoTech Deal With IBM

if you thought silicon changed the world just wait for nanotech to transform just about every aspect of our world
Houston - Jan 31, 2003
Rice University today announced a research agreement with IBM that will provide nanotechnology researchers at Rice's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) with a supercomputer powerful enough to decipher the quantum phenomena of carbon nanotubes and other nanomaterials.

CBEN researchers plan to use the supercomputer to find new ways to use nanomaterials to treat and diagnose disease and to clean pollutants from the environment.

Through a Shared University Research (SUR) award from IBM, CBEN has received a high-performance computing system, the IBM eServer p690. The new supercomputer has doubled CBEN's existing computing capacity, providing CBEN researchers with the intense computing power needed to solve incredibly complex mathematical questions relating to molecular structure.

"The unique properties of carbon nanotubes will make them useful in more ways than anyone can imagine, but many applications require a detailed understanding of the mechanical, structural and electronic properties of nanotubes," said Richard Smalley, university professor and founding director of CBEN.

"Through its generosity, IBM is supplying CBEN researchers with the powerful computers needed to tackle these complex quantum mysteries."

The IBM eServer p690 is based on IBM's next-generation POWER4 microprocessor, a system on a chip containing two one-gigahertz-plus processors. The p690 system also features self-healing technologies that can help provide uninterrupted operation, even through major power outages and system failures.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, CBEN is the only academic research center in the world that is dedicated to studying the interaction between nanomaterials and living organisms and ecosystems.

Carbon nanotubes are single molecules of carbon that can contain millions of atoms arranged in hollow cylinders. These tubes are just one-billionth of a meter in diameter but can stretch a millimeter or more in length. That's analogous to a 15-mile-long garden hose.

Calculations on the IBM eServer p690 are showing that even small imperfections in the tubes can drastically affect their mechanical and electrical properties.

"What happens when you remove a couple of atoms out of every 1,000?" asks Gustavo Scuseria, Welch Professor of Chemistry. "What we're finding is that there are dramatic differences -- greater than anything we had expected."

Part of the reason that nanotubes behave so differently than theorists have envisioned is they are so small. At the nanometer scale, the strange and counterintuitive forces of quantum mechanics play a critical part in determining electric conductance properties.

With larger wires and circuits -- even the transistors on today's smallest microchips -- quantum effects play a negligible role, meaning engineers can ignore them altogether.

To find out exactly how the nanotubes will behave, Scuseria's research team uses supercomputers to calculate precisely what happens as individual electrons and photons interact with carbon atoms in a nanotube.

Even the eServer p690, which can perform hundreds of millions of calculations per second, takes up to a week to solve the equations describing a section of nanotube containing a few thousand atoms.

When complete, IBM expects this research will result in the development of linear scaling theories and algorithms that will represent a major step forward in theoretical molecular and biomolecular science.

Subsequently, chemical scientific software applications will be modified to incorporate these new algorithms, and IBM plans to take the lead in incorporating this knowledge into its technology and products.

Related Links
Rice University
Search SpaceDaily
Subscribe To SpaceDaily Express

NASA And University Group Begins New NanoElectronics Institute
Moffett Field - Jan 16, 2003
In an effort to help create spacecraft that can think, NASA and a group of six colleges led by Purdue University today are meeting in West Lafayette, Ind., to officially launch the NASA Institute for Nanoelectronics and Computing.

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.