Unequal Neutron-Star Mergers Create Unique “Bang” in Bridges Simulations

Slower and Noisier

Aug. 3, 2020

It seems strange to talk about “quiet” versus “noisy” collisions of neutron stars. But many such impacts form a black hole that swallows all but the gravitational evidence. A series of simulations using PSC’s Bridges platform and other supercomputers by a Penn State scientist suggested that, when the neutron stars’ masses are different enough, the result is far noisier. The model predicts an electromagnetic “bang,” which isn’t present when the merging stars’ masses are similar, that astronomers should be able to detect.









Above: a neutron star is ripped apart by tidal forces from its massive companion in an unequal-mass binary neutron star merger (left). Most of the smaller partner’s mass falls onto the massive star, causing it to collapse and to form a black hole (middle). But some of the material is ejected into space; the rest falls back to form a massive accretion disk around the black hole (right). From Figure 4 in Accretion-induced prompt black hole formation in asymmetric neutron star mergers, dynamical ejecta and kilonova signals. Bernuzzi S et al., Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, online June 2020.

NSF Funds Neocortex, a Groundbreaking AI Supercomputer, at PSC

The National Science Foundation Awards $5 million to the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center to Build Neocortex, an AI Supercomputer that Will Introduce Revolutionary Technologies

June 9, 2020

A $5 million National Science Foundation (NSF) award will allow the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) to deploy a unique high-performance artificial intelligence (AI) system. Neocortex will introduce fundamentally new hardware to greatly speed AI research. PSC, a joint research organization of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, will build the new supercomputer in partnership with Cerebras Systems and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).

PSC Bids Farewell to Rich Brueckner

Saying Goodbye to Our Friend


We at PSC are deeply saddened by the passing of Rich Brueckner, leader of insideHPC. For many years, Rich drew on his industry-wide insights to communicate the impact of our field, its companies, and its contributors. Rich’s enthusiasm and optimism drove the countless interviews he conducted for insideHPC. For those of us who had the privilege of working with him, what we will remember most are his good nature and compassion, exemplified by his support for local animal shelters. HPC events won’t be the same without Rich and his iconic red hat. He will be sorely missed. 


We would like to extend our deepest and most sincere condolences to Rich’s family, friends, and close colleagues. We will aim to rejoice in the positive impact he had and the memories of good moments together.


We invite all to join Rich’s friends and colleagues from the HPC community in Rich’s Celebration of Life, a Zoom meeting that will take place on Tuesday, June 2, from 4-6 pm EST. More information available here


We can honor his life by continuing his legacy and supporting some of the causes that were close to his heart. 



Link to obituary here.


Rest in peace dear friend.