Los Alamos National Laboratory is home to two of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, each capable
of performing more than 1,000 trillion operations per second. The newer one, Cielo, was upgraded in 2011.

Scientists use this computing power to run the complex models and simulations of, for example, ocean
warming or a nuclear explosion. Under the extreme conditions created by nuclear weapons, solid materials behave like fluids. Understanding the complex processes of instability and turbulence allows us to more
accurately model the performance of America’s nuclear deterrent.

Top: Unstable intermixing of heavy (sulfur hexafluoride) and light fluid (air).

Middle: Turbulence generated by unstable fluid flow.

Bottom: Examining the effects of a one-megaton nuclear energy source detonated on the surface of an
asteroid.

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