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The In-Between World of the Mesoscale

by Kathy Chambers on Tue, June 23, 2015

Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, Brown University: Brain blood flow simulation with NekTar; a continuum modelArgonne Leadership Computing Facility, Brown University: Brain blood flow simulation with NekTar; a continuum modelEmerging mesoscale science opportunities are among the most promising for future research.  The in-between world of the mesoscale connects the microscopic objects (atoms and molecules) and macroscopic assemblies (chemically and structurally complex bulk materials) worlds, giving a complete picture – the emergence of new phenomena, the understanding of behaviors, and the role imperfections play in determining performance.  Because of the ever-accelerating advances in modern experimental, theoretical, and computational capabilities, Department of Energy (DOE) researchers are now realizing unprecedented scientific achievements with mesoscale science.  

George Em Karniadakis is one of the notable mesoscale researchers who are changing what we know about medicine.  Dr. Karniadakis, a joint appointee with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Brown University, serves as principal investigator and director of the Collaboratory on Mathematics for Mesoscopic Modeling of Materials (CM4), a major project sponsored by the Applied Mathematics Program within the DOE’s Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR).  CM4 focuses on developing rigorous mathematical foundations for understanding and controlling fundamental mechanisms in mesoscale processes to enable scalable synthesis of complex materials. 

Karniadakis’ research interests “include diverse topics in computational science both on algorithms and applications.”  A current impetus is stochastic simulations and multiscale modeling of physical and biological systems.  Karniadakis and his collaborators have conducted multi-scale simulations to model flow in the blood vessels of the human brain.  These simulations may shed light on the interaction between events happening at micro- and meso-scales.  Multiscale Simulation of Blood Flow in Brain Arteries with an Aneurysm, authored by Karniadakis and his research group, is an animation on this work available in DOE’s ScienceCinema.  This multi-scale visualization methodology is helping researchers to better predict and understand aneurysm ruptures as well as other blood-related diseases like diabetes, sickle cell anemia, and cerebral malaria.

DOE’s Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (BESAC) addresses the need, the opportunities, the challenges, and the benefits of mastering mesoscale science in their report “From Quanta to the Continuum: Opportunities for Mesoscale Science.”  This report and other BESAC basic research needs reports are available in SciTech Connect.  Mesoscale research results and other transformative research endeavors sponsored by the Department, other federal agencies, and international science organizations can be found in OSTI’s Catalogue of Collections.  Additionally, the DOE Science Showcase currently features mesoscale research and Dr. William Watson’s latest paper In the OSTI Collections: Mesoscale Science provides a layman’s overview of important mesoscale research.    

Related OSTI Products: SciTech Connect
Page last updated on 2017-03-16 09:03

About the Author

Kathy Chambers's picture
Kathy Chambers
Technical Writer, Information International Associates, Inc.