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Supercomputer for quantum physics research

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Dell has deployed a 72-processor supercomputer at the University of Queensland's ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum-Atom Optics (ACQAO) research facility to power its ground-breaking research into "ultra-cold atoms". The 36 dual-processor Dell PowerEdgeTM server cluster, running on Intel Xeon EMT 64 processors, has been deployed with the Linux operating system.

The ACQAO is a collaboration of scientists from Australian National University, University of Queensland and Melbourne's Swinburne University of Technology. It has deployed the clustered computing resource in its Queensland University facility to drive highly complex quantum physics calculations relating to Bose-Einstein condensates and ultra cold quantum gases.

Bose-Einstein condensates are a state of matter predicted by Einstein in the 1920s, but not observed until 1995. The condensates form when atomic gases are cooled to freezing temperatures a few billionths of a degree above absolute zero, and must be described using the equations of quantum mechanics.

The cluster configuration is well-adapted to the computations for which it will be used. The calculations can easily be divided among the processors, and running all 36 servers will lead to a huge speed up that will rapidly advance the research. The PowerEdge 1425 servers are easily scaled up to larger configurations. This is equally important given the unpredictable nature of the project and the strong possibility that additional computing resources will be needed in the future.

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