Developing catalysts for solar energy conversion
Mookie Baik, an associate professor of chemistry at IU, and his colleagues use Big Red II in their search for sustainable, non-fossil fuel energy sources.
What can Big Red II do for you?
Big Red II, IU's Cray supercomputer, was built exclusively for IU researchers – meaning you already have a leg up on researchers at other institutions who have to wait their turn on shared supercomputers.
Installed in 2013, Big Red II is 25 times more powerful than its predecessor, Big Red, and the fastest university-owned and operated supercomputer in the world. It would take one person more than 31 million years – performing one calculation per second 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – to perform the same number of calculations Big Red II can do in just one second.
How does IU wield Big Red II's power? In lots of ways: Explore a few below.
Exploring green energy sources
IU Associate Professor of Chemistry Mookie Baik and his colleagues use Big Red II in their search for sustainable, non-fossil fuel energy sources. Big Red II helps them model chemical reactions, like turning water, carbon dioxide, and solar energy into fuel.
Baik and his colleagues are currently trying to understand and replicate the process plants use to grow. Instead of using a laborious trial-and-error approach, Big Red II simulates the key catalytic processes and helps the researchers refine their understanding and make predictions for new, improved catalysts.
Before Big Red II, there were calculations Baik and his team couldn't perform because it would take months or more to get results back. Wait times like that can cause a team to lose momentum. Now that Big Red II is on the scene, the turnaround time for calculations has shrunk to a couple of days, helping researchers like Baik develop their ideas further and faster.
"The simulations we have to do are gigantic," Baik said. "Without Big Red II and the support of the high performance computing staff, I wouldn't have even gone in this direction. I'm adapting the way I think about my chemistry because Big Red II is available."
Creating jobs, boosting economies
We bring some of the nation's top IT talent to IU's campuses. Currently, that's almost a thousand full-time positions and more than 500 temporary ones. Those positions are people – people who live, work, and play in Indiana communities, boosting local economies while lending their considerable expertise to support IT@IU's vision of excellence.