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New initiatives scale up supercomputing

To calculate the movements of a mere 600 atoms in an explosion-produced mixture of

hydrogen fluoride and water vapor for 1 trillionth of a second, scientists have

had to tie up the most powerful supercomputer available for about 15 days. With

the unveiling last week of the computer dubbed ASCI White, they have a machine

that can perform the task much more quickly.

Housed at the Lawrence Livermore (Calif.) National Laboratory (LLNL), ASCI White

is a product of the National Nuclear Security Administration's Accelerated

Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI). The initiative is part of an effort to

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