Computing with a Graphics Adapter

Heiko Burau

project report

Did you know that the graphics adapter is 100 times faster than the normal CPU? I guess not, as this is not normally noticeable when the graphics adapter only deals with graphics and nothing else. The goal of my project is the use of this enormous processing power for useful purposes. The graphics adapter has the potential to set new standards for computer software. I aim to set these standards for the area of physical simulations. To do this I have developed several interactive systems that are orders of magnitude faster and more exact than anything that was possible on a personal computer so far. First a wave simulator for all sorts of waves, followed by a flow simulation. I showed these two programs to experts in numerical modelling at Forschungszentrum J├╝lich. They were very impressed by my simulations and our discussion generated many new ideas. Next, I looked at n-body systems and I developed a simulation of quantum mechanics. As a final step I contacted the Max-Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, i.e. the 100m radio telescope in Effelsberg, and simulated the magnetosphere of a pulsar to explain the origin or its emission.

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