Shop Windows to the Universe

Dig into Montana Before History: 11K Years of Hunter-Gatherers in the Rockies and Plains by D. H. MacDonald, Ph.D. See our online store book collection.
This is a modern supercomputer. It is actually a cluster of numerous computers that are linked together to make them far more powerful.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of UCAR Digital Image Library

Using Computers for Science

In the last decades, computers have become a normal part of life. They are used to send e-mail, write a school report or look up recipes. They are used to keep track of the balance in your bank account. They are used to deliver money to you at an ATM, crunch the latest baseball statistics and deliver phone calls to the right residence. They might even be used to help drive your car!

As much as computers have become a part of our daily lives, they have also become an integral part of modern science. They are essential in helping scientists to understand the world around us. Computers have changed the face of science so that scientists are no longer constrained to doing just experiment-based or theoretical research. Now scientists can enter results and data into a computer and the computer, utilizing mathematics and abiding by the physical laws, can recreate a virtual physical world right on the computer screen.

Supercomputers have especially revolutionized the scientific process and are used in everything from meteorology to molecular biology to astronomy to environmental science.

Last modified October 15, 2007 by Jennifer Bergman.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Learn about Earth and space science, and have fun while doing it! The games section of our online store includes a climate change card game and the Traveling Nitrogen game!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

What is a Supercomputer?

Some scientific problems and processes are so complex that you need SUPERCOMPUTING power to tackle them! Just what is a supercomputer? A supercomputer is a computer that is among the largest, fastest or...more

Modeling Space Weather

Space weather is a very complex scientific field. Scientists who study space weather use computer models a lot. Space weather is a bit like weather on Earth in this way because weather forecasters on our...more

Tools for Math and Science

Some ideas are used throughout the sciences. They are "tools" that can help us solve puzzles in different fields of science. These "tools" include units of measurement, mathematical formulas, and graphs....more

Starting Points for Science

Some ideas are used in many, many places throughout science. We have grouped these "starting points for science" into three clusters: space, time, and matter. "Space" is the word we use for everything...more

Using Computers for Science

In the last decades, computers have become a normal part of life. They are used to send e-mail, write a school report or look up recipes. They are used to keep track of the balance in your bank account....more

Universal Time

When it is noon where you live, it is midnight on the opposite side of the world. Usually when we think of time, we mean "the time of day where I live". If we say something happened at 9 AM, we mean it...more

The Magnetic Field

The force of magnetism causes material to point along the direction the magnetic force points. As shown in the diagram to the left, the force of magnetism is illustrated by lines, which represent the force....more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF