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Our Glaciers: Then and Now activity kit helps you see the changes taking place in glaciers around the world. See all our activity kits and classroom activities.
Many modern supercomputers, like those shown here, are actually numerous computers that are linked together to make them far more powerful.
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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.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA