Consoles extending their reach into the sciences

The science of science and consoles - Image 1As consoles get more powerful, they break the boundaries of what they were originally designed for. While they were only limited to games before, they are now lending their power for use in the sciences, from medicine to computing the physics of two black holes colliding. Read more on the role of consoles in the fields of science by going to the full article.

The science of science and consoles - Image 1

As consoles get more powerful, their functions are expanding beyond video games. The PlayStation 3, for example, hosts the breakthrough Folding@Home program, and whose cell processor has also been used in medical imaging enhancements.

The Wii, on the other hand, has been making waves in the field of physical rehabilitation and even education. Consoles are indeed making their mark in the fields of science, from chemistry, to medicine, and even physics.

At the University of Massachusetts, an array of 16 PS3s running on Linux are being used to calculate what would happen if two black holes collide. The University of Illinois, on the other hand, is looking to PS3s to simulate interactions between electrons in atoms.

The Wii is also reaching into medicine beyond physical rehab. It’s also being used as a tool for surgeons to improve their techniques. It’s also be used to measure movement deficiencies in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Professor Gaurav Kanna of the University of Massachusetts explains that consoles are becoming more popular in science because they do what supercomputers can do, and even more so:

A single high-precision simulation can sometimes cost more than 5,000 hours on the TeraGrid supercomputers. For the same cost, you can build your own supercomputer using PS3s. It works just as well, has no long wait times and can be used over and over again, indefinitely.

Professor Peter Coveney of University College London also comments on the role of consoles in science, saying:

There is no doubt that the entertainment industry is helping to drive the direction of high performance computational science – exploiting the power available to the masses will lead to many research breakthroughs in the future.

Thanks to Soulkiller for the tip!

Via Telegraph

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