The Cosmos Podcast

Simulating how molecules flow with supercomputers

February 10, 2023 The Royal Institution of Australia
The Cosmos Podcast
Simulating how molecules flow with supercomputers
Show Notes

Welcome to a Cosmos Insights podcast, where we talk to scientists in Australia about the impact of their work.

If we can predict the behaviour of individual molecules, we can do extraordinary things with them. We can desalinate water to almost perfect purity, fine tune batteries to perform as well as possible – and that’s just the beginning.

But it’s really difficult to simulate molecules to enable that prediction. A nearly-invisible microlitre drop of water has 10 billion billion molecules in it, all moving and changing at the speed of femtoseconds.

Which is why researchers are using supercomputers to model how molecules move and behave.

Today, Cosmos science journalist Ellen Phiddian talks Professor Debra Bernhardt and Dr Emily Kahl, at the University of Queensland, about how they are using the Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre to simulate molecular behaviour.

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