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Fun fact: Most systems require air conditioning or chilled water to cool super powerful supercomputers, but the Olympus supercomputer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is cooled by the location's 65 degree groundwater. Traditional cooling systems could cost up to $61,000 in electricity each year, but this more efficient setup uses 70 percent less energy. | Photo courtesy of PNNL.

Fun fact: Most systems require air conditioning or chilled water to cool super powerful supercomputers, but the Olympus supercomputer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is cooled by the location's 65 degree groundwater. Traditional cooling systems could cost up to $61,000 in electricity each year, but this more efficient setup uses 70 percent less energy. | Photo courtesy of PNNL.

Supercomputers are used to model and simulate complex, dynamic systems that would be too expensive, impractical or impossible to physically demonstrate. Supercomputers are changing the way scientists explore the evolution of our universe, climate change, biological systems, weather forecasting and even renewable energy.

The Energy Department's National Labs have some of the most significant high performance computing resources available, including 32 of the 500 fastest supercomputers in the world. The National Labs make their high performance computing facilities available to researchers from industry and academia so that these public investments in state-of-the-art technology are able to generate the greatest possible intellectual and economic benefit.

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Supercomputers: Extreme Computing at the National Labs

Sometimes big science requires big resources. Over the next month, we'll be highlighting one of those big resources -- supercomputers -- on energy.gov.

INFOGRAPHIC: Everything You Need to Know About Supercomputers
Infographic by <a href="/node/379579">Sarah Gerrity</a>, Energy Department.

In our newest infographic, we explain some of the complex terms associated with the speed, storage and processing on supercomputers; the game changing work being done with them; and the top 8 supercomputers that call the National Labs home.

10 Questions for a Scientist: Erich Strohmaier
Dr. Erich Strohmaier, of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, presents data from the TOP500 list of supercomputers. | Photo courtesy of Berkeley Lab.

Dr. Erich Strohmaier discusses the evolution of the TOP500 list of supercomputers, his own career and where the field of high performance computing is going next.

Supercomputing: A Toolbox to Simulate the Big Bang and Beyond
This image shows the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1398. | Image courtesy of the Dark Energy Survey.

Learn how three Energy Department National Labs are collaborating to peer deeper into the origins of our universe than ever before.