Monday, March 24, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
The term supercomputer itself is rather fluid, and today's supercomputer tends to become tomorrow's also-ran. CDC's near the beginning machines were simply very fast single processors, some ten times the speed of the fastest machines offered by other companies. In the 1970s most supercomputers were dedicated to running a vector processor, and a lot of the newer players developed their own such processors at lower price points to enter the market. In the later 1980s and 1990s, attention turned from vector processors to enormous parallel processing systems with thousands of simple CPUs; some being off the shelf units and others being custom designs. Today, parallel designs are based on "off the shelf" RISC microprocessors, such as the PowerPC or PA-RISC, and most current supercomputers are now highly-tuned computer clusters using commodity processors combined with custom interconnects.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Alongside this established usage, the phrase natural sciences is also sometimes used more narrowly to refer to its everyday usage, that is, related to natural history. In this sense "natural sciences" may refer to the biology and perhaps also the earth sciences, as illustrious from the physical sciences, including astronomy, physics, and chemistry.
Within the natural sciences, the word hard science is sometimes used to describe those sub-fields that rely on experimental, quantifiable data or the scientific method and focus on accuracy and objectivity. These generally include physics, chemistry and many of the sub-fields of biology. By contrast, soft science is often used to explain the scientific fields that are more reliant on qualitative research, including the social sciences.
There is some explore, collectivelly known as graphism thesis, that indicates that natural science relies on graphs more than soft sciences and mathematics do.