If we can predict the behaviour of individual molecules, we can do extraordinary things with them. We can desalinate water to almost perfect purity, fine tune batteries to perform as well as possible – and that’s just the beginning.
But it’s really difficult to simulate molecules to enable that prediction. A nearly-invisible microlitre drop of water has 10 billion billion molecules in it, all moving and changing at the speed of femtoseconds.
Which is why researchers are using supercomputers to model how molecules move and behave.
In this video, Cosmos science journalist Ellen Phiddian discovers the work of Professor Debra Bernhardt and Dr Emily Kahl, at the University of Queensland, and how they are using the Pawsey Supercomputing Research Centre to simulate molecular behaviour.
You can listen to the whole interview below: