Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Cray Supercomputer... Discover Origin Of Mysterious Glass Found In King Tut's Tomb
Macroworld Investor ^ | 7-31-2007

Posted on 08/02/2007 10:47:08 AM PDT by blam

Cray Supercomputer at Sandia Helps Researchers Discover Origin of Mysterious Glass Found in King Tut's Tomb

Released : Tuesday, July 31, 2007 7:26 AM

Global supercomputer leader Cray Inc. (NASDAQ: CRAY) today announced that researchers running simulations on the Cray supercomputer at Sandia National Laboratories have re-created what could have happened 29 million years ago when an asteroid explosion turned Saharan sand into glass. The greenish natural glass, which can still be found scattered across remote stretches of the desert, was used by an artisan in ancient Egypt to carve a scarab that decorates one of the bejeweled breastplates buried in King Tutankhamen's tomb.

"Supercomputers now allow us to approach these problems as if we were conducting actual experiments," said Mark Boslough, the physicist at Sandia whose theory about the origins of Libyan Desert Glass sparked the research. "With this class of computer, we can run multiple simulations at such high resolution and fidelity that we can see phenomena that we wouldn't be able to predict from first principles. That means we can explore alternate possibilities as we go. It's more like doing iterative experimental science than theoretical science."

The Cray supercomputer at Sandia, nicknamed Red Storm, was developed jointly by Cray and Sandia, a part of the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia upgraded Red Storm late last year to three times its original performance level, boosting its performance to more than 100 teraflops, or 100 trillion floating point operations per second. Red Storm is one of only three supercomputers in the world to exceed the 100 teraflops mark, according to the TOP500 results released last month.

"The Libyan Desert Glass study at Sandia is truly exciting research that crosses a number of scientific disciplines -- ranging from impact physics and geology to Egyptology," said Jan Silverman, senior vice president, corporate strategy and business development at Cray. "We are delighted to hear about how our highly scalable Cray XT(TM) supercomputer architecture allows iterative modeling techniques to find the most probable explanation. Using the computational power of our supercomputers we also see similar iterative techniques being used to optimize designs from automobiles to airplanes."

Clues To a Mystery

Until recently Earth scientists believed that natural glass can form by only two high-temperature processes. Volcanic glass, such as obsidian, can be produced when lava cools rapidly. Or, in rare cases, a glass known as tektite can form from the high pressures generated when an asteroid or comet directly impacts the earth. But compositional studies indicate that Libyan Desert Glass does not fit either of these two categories. Adding to the puzzle, scientists generally agree the Libyan glass was somehow formed by a collision with an object from space, but no one has ever been able to confirm an impact crater in the region.

Boslough found one clue to the glass mystery in the 1994 collision between the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 and Jupiter. That comet broke up into several pieces before it made contact with Jupiter's atmosphere, where the collisions caused fireballs that shot hundreds of miles above the planet. Boslough conjectured that if such an air burst were to occur above Earth, it might generate enough heat to fuse surface materials into glass.

Another clue was the Tunguska explosion that flattened a thousand square miles of forest across Siberia in 1908. Because there is no crater of sufficient size to have caused this event, it is generally believed that the Tunguska blast was the result of a meteoroid or comet fragment that exploded at an altitude of five to 10 kilometers (three to six miles) above the Earth's surface.

Boslough argues that a similar atmospheric explosion could have created fireballs large enough and hot enough to produce the Libyan Desert Glass. Such glass would have been forged in seconds, much like the glass that formed from super-heated sand at the Trinity site in New Mexico during the first atom bomb test in 1945. If the asteroid blast occurred above the Earth, there would be no evidence of a collision in the composition of the glass and no significant crater in the ground.

Re-creating the Blast

"What I focused on in the simulations was the explosion of the asteroid," said Boslough. "As the object entered the atmosphere it had tremendous kinetic energy. Much of that energy was converted to heat, creating a blast as hot as the surface of the sun over a large area. The fireball remained in contact with the Earth's surface for more than 20 seconds. At the same time, winds behind the blast reached a speed of several hundred meters per second. The glass formed from the rapid melting and quenching of the sandstone and alluvium on the ground."

Boslough and his colleagues at Sandia performed high-resolution hydrocode simulations on Red Storm using the CTH shock-physics code. They postulated a 120-meter diameter stony asteroid hitting the atmosphere at 20 kilometers per second and breaking up, touching off a blast equivalent to a 110 megaton bomb and producing intense heat and high-velocity winds.

According to the simulations, this explosion would have been more than sufficient to melt rocky material on the surface and then cool it quickly, the conditions necessary to form natural glass. The high winds would have accelerated the melting process by blowing away the boundary or "melt" layer that would otherwise insulate the stone from the heat.

Boslough and his group conducted a number of simulations to come up with their results.

"Multiple iterations are really important for gaining new insights," he said. "You can't plan out your whole experimental matrix and lock yourself in. When we vary the parameters, we can see new things. For example, we observed a large ring vortex during the explosion that acts as a 'lubricant' for the downward flow of mass and energy. No one had suggested that was possible before."

For more information about the Libyan Desert Glass study, go to http://www.sandia.gov/news/publications/technology/2006/0804/glass.html.

About Sandia National Laboratories

Since 1949 Sandia National Laboratories has developed science-based technologies that support U.S. security. The laboratory primarily focuses on nuclear weapons, energy and infrastructure assurance, nonproliferation verification, defense systems and assessments, and antiterrorism. Go to www.sandia.gov for more information.

About Red Storm

Commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration to address computing and simulation requirements, Cray and Sandia National Laboratories jointly produced the Red Storm supercomputer. Red Storm is a massively parallel processing (MPP) supercomputer with distributed memory, multiple instruction and multiple data architecture to provide exceptional computational power. It is not only one of the world's fastest supercomputers, but offers ease of use, system balance, sustained performance and reliability. The Red Storm design became the basis for the Cray XT series of MPP supercomputers, which are in use today at a number of prestigious supercomputing centers around the world. Go to http://www.sandia.gov/ASC/redstorm.html for more information.

About Cray Inc.

As a global leader in supercomputing, Cray provides highly advanced supercomputers and world-class services and support to government, industry and academia. Cray technology enables scientists and engineers to achieve remarkable breakthroughs by accelerating performance, improving efficiency and extending the capabilities of their most demanding applications. Cray's Adaptive Supercomputing vision will result in innovative next-generation products that integrate diverse processing technologies into a unified architecture, allowing customers to surpass today's limitations and meeting the market's continued demand for realized performance. Go to www.cray.com for more information.

Cray is a registered trademark, and Cray XT is a trademark of Cray Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: catastrophism; cray; glass; godsgravesglyphs; impact; tut; tutankhamen; tutankhamun

1 posted on 08/02/2007 10:47:13 AM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv
GGG Ping.

Told ya.

2 posted on 08/02/2007 10:47:46 AM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
Another clue was the Tunguska explosion that flattened a thousand square miles of forest across Siberia in 1908. Because there is no crater of sufficient size to have caused this event,

Hmmm.
A crater could not have caused that explosion.

Well, that's good to know.

I guess.

3 posted on 08/02/2007 10:52:24 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam; 75thOVI; AFPhys; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; BenLurkin; ...
Thanks Blam.
The Cray supercomputer at Sandia, nicknamed Red Storm, was developed jointly by Cray and Sandia
The nickname was developed by some adults who still read comic books, or maybe a previous generation AI program.

Seems like a great time to roll out the new GGG ping message format. Unfortunately, it's not done, mostly because I spend too much time online.
 
Catastrophism
 
· join · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post new topic ·

4 posted on 08/02/2007 10:52:32 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, August 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...
Thanks Blam. I hope someone tracks down the earlier topics related to this.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

5 posted on 08/02/2007 10:53:46 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, August 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

A GLASS from the PASS?......


6 posted on 08/02/2007 10:54:40 AM PDT by Red Badger (No wonder Mexico is so filthy. Everybody who does cleaning jobs is HERE!.......)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Izzy Dunne

Jurnalizm skool is so ful of smarter peeples..........


7 posted on 08/02/2007 10:55:44 AM PDT by Red Badger (No wonder Mexico is so filthy. Everybody who does cleaning jobs is HERE!.......)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: blam

“researchers running simulations on the Cray supercomputer at Sandia National Laboratories have re-created what could have happened 29 million years ago when an asteroid explosion turned Saharan sand into glass.”

memo to Iran and Syria - YOU’RE NEXT.


8 posted on 08/02/2007 11:01:19 AM PDT by Yehuda ("Land of the free, THANKS TO THE BRAVE!" (Choke on it, pinkos!))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

King Tut’s Necklace Shaped By Fireball
The Australian | 6-26-2006
Posted on 06/26/2006 7:32:58 PM EDT by blam
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1656059/posts

Tut’s gem hints at space impact
bbc | Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 July 2006, 19:09 GMT 20:09 UK
Posted on 07/20/2006 8:48:59 AM EDT by BenLurkin
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1669079/posts

Mysterious Egyptian Glass Formed By Meteorite Strike, Study Says
National Geographic | 12-21-2006 | Stefan Lovgren
Posted on 12/22/2006 2:19:39 PM EST by blam
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1757423/posts


9 posted on 08/02/2007 11:01:27 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, August 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

We need to very that desert sand can be converted into glass by a high temperature flash...


10 posted on 08/02/2007 11:09:42 AM PDT by null and void (Whale oil: The carbon neutral, renewable petroleum alternative)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: null and void

“The bombing starts in five minutes.”


11 posted on 08/02/2007 11:12:08 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, August 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: blam

12 posted on 08/02/2007 11:14:44 AM PDT by UnklGene
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

I guess you figured out that ‘very’ was supposed to be ‘verify’.

Darned spell check...


13 posted on 08/02/2007 11:15:12 AM PDT by null and void (Whale oil: The carbon neutral, renewable petroleum alternative)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: blam

Landsat image of Kebira Crater in Egypt's Western desert, near the border with Libya. (Image: Boston University Center for Remote Sensing)

Libya's Kebira Crater A huge crater in the Sahara desert, said to be the largest one ever found in the region, and dwarfing Arizona's "Meteor Crater", poses new questions for geologists. Is the crater related to the origins of the mysterious "desert glass" in the region?

14 posted on 08/02/2007 11:16:33 AM PDT by xcamel ("It's Talk Thompson Time!" >> irc://irc.freenode.net/fredthompson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Izzy Dunne

Proof reading is a lost art.


15 posted on 08/02/2007 11:19:57 AM PDT by Pontiac (Patriotism is the natural consequence of having a free mind in a free society.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: blam

This study is totally bogus!

Common, the earth is only 6000 years old!


16 posted on 08/02/2007 11:23:30 AM PDT by aShepard (Oh little Mohammad, Couchy, Couchy Coo; your momma is so proud, you'll be the cutest suicide bomber)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: xcamel

This image looks like a photo of the cross section of a rock.


17 posted on 08/02/2007 11:33:32 AM PDT by Midtowngirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: xcamel

shoot, and I was hopeing for a Star Gate tie-in.


18 posted on 08/02/2007 11:36:17 AM PDT by KC Burke (Men of intemperate minds can never be free...their passions forge their fetters.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Pontiac

Art is nearly a lost art...


19 posted on 08/02/2007 11:38:37 AM PDT by Hegemony Cricket (You can take the boy out of the country, but you just can't get the smell off his shoes.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Hegemony Cricket

Poetry certainly is.


20 posted on 08/02/2007 11:41:33 AM PDT by Pontiac (Patriotism is the natural consequence of having a free mind in a free society.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

a good one!

gracias.


21 posted on 08/02/2007 11:42:48 AM PDT by ken21 (b 4 fred.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

I was expecting more along the lines of a shot glass with a pyramid etched on it, with the word “Travel Egypt” printed underneath.


22 posted on 08/02/2007 11:42:57 AM PDT by billygoatgruff
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv
It's more like doing iterative experimental science than theoretical science."

Translation: "It's more fun fooling around with this multi million dollar computer than actually having to work."

L

23 posted on 08/02/2007 11:46:25 AM PDT by Lurker (Comparing moderate islam to extremist islam is like comparing small pox to ebola.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Lurker

Hey, you say that as if it’s a bad thing. ;’)


24 posted on 08/02/2007 11:56:57 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, August 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: blam
"Re-creating the Blast"

Instead of wasting all that grant money to make a fictional recreation of a theoretical astroid blast, they could have just asked a Hollywood special effects company to do it for much cheaper.

25 posted on 08/02/2007 11:57:46 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ken21

Thanks!


26 posted on 08/02/2007 11:58:46 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, August 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: null and void

;’)


27 posted on 08/02/2007 11:59:15 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Profile updated Thursday, August 2, 2007. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: aShepard
'Common, the earth is only 6000 years old!

Plenty of evidence of global catastrophic events within the past 4000 years which could easily have caused sand to melt and whole continents to slide great distances as well.
Hydroplate theory

28 posted on 08/02/2007 12:09:39 PM PDT by Nathan Zachary
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: blam
Or, in rare cases, a glass known as tektite can form from the high pressures generated when an asteroid or comet directly impacts the earth. But compositional studies indicate that Libyan Desert Glass does not fit either of these two categories.

Atlantis was warned of the consequences should it continue to try to develop nuclear weapons.

29 posted on 08/02/2007 12:20:35 PM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Fred Dalton Thompson for President)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nathan Zachary
The Grand Canyon did not form in millions of years; it formed in weeks.

What I've always wondered is, if the GC formed over millions of years of river erosion, why don't we have GCs every place where we have a major river?

30 posted on 08/02/2007 12:25:02 PM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Fred Dalton Thompson for President)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: milford421; FARS; DAVEY CROCKETT; Velveeta; Calpernia; CarolinaGOP

Ping.


31 posted on 08/02/2007 1:54:18 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny ( Today is a good day for working on some heavy praying. The world needs God to hear them.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

I thought Clinton sent all those computers to China...


32 posted on 08/02/2007 2:55:23 PM PDT by Brofholdonow
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nathan Zachary

True.

I mean it isn’t like a major HPC defense supplier like Cray could reuse some of this tech to design better weapons systems.

Oh wait...


33 posted on 08/02/2007 3:39:21 PM PDT by RFC_Gal (It's not just a boulder; It's a rock! A ro-o-ock. The pioneers used to ride these babies for miles!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: Midtowngirl

a rock... or someone need to get to the dermatologist...QUICK!


34 posted on 08/02/2007 4:42:33 PM PDT by Coffee... Black... No Sugar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: RFC_Gal
Seems like you bit the dust.
Good riddance.
35 posted on 08/05/2007 7:08:59 PM PDT by vox_freedom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]


· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

· Google · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology magazine · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Mirabilis · Texas AM Anthropology News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· History or Science & Nature Podcasts · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


36 posted on 04/13/2008 12:49:11 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_____________________Profile updated Saturday, March 29, 2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: SunkenCiv

2008 bump.


37 posted on 04/14/2008 7:54:30 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]


· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

· Google · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology magazine · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Mirabilis · Texas AM Anthropology News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· History or Science & Nature Podcasts · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


38 posted on 04/14/2008 11:15:53 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_____________________Profile updated Saturday, March 29, 2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson