IQ Winter 2012 - (Page 24)

look// Researchers inside the CAVE wear virtual-reality goggles to manipulate objects as part of an astronomical simulation. // LOOK By Ian p. Murphy IN plAto’s Allegory of the cave, subjects on the first step to enlightenment see only the shadows of what’s real, projected on a wall, before experiencing the actual objects outside. Now, a visualization chamber known as the CAVE at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) helps scientists visualize what’s real but often beyond their scope of vision by building geometric representations and images from the “shadows” presented by huge data sets. Inside the immersive environment at the Metropolis Center for Modeling and Simulation, supercomputers crunch the numbers to project more than 43 million pixels of virtual reality onto CAVE’s five Plexiglas walls to create a 3D simulation. In addition to big-picture astrophysics projects and studies with national security implications such as climate-change modeling, CAVE assists in open research on fluid dynamics, impact analysis, shock physics, thermal exchange. The chamber’s 3D simulations help LANL researchers and other users visualize anything from packing peanuts to planetary orbits from every angle. Inside, users can validate design options, verify safety and provide training by manipulating virtual objects with a hand-held wand to test prototypes, adjust constructions and ultimately achieve the best possible results in real-world applications. Plato would be proud. 24 winter//2012 the quarterly publication of the design-build institute of america photo courtesy of Los alamos national Laboratory

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IQ Winter 2012

IQ Winter 2012

IQ Winter 2012 - (Page Cover1)
IQ Winter 2012 - (Page Cover2)
IQ Winter 2012 - (Page 1)
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IQ Winter 2012 - (Page Cover3)
IQ Winter 2012 - (Page Cover4)
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