This is an archival copy of the Visualization Group's web page 1998 to 2017. For current information, please vist our group's new web page.

Visualization Group Gallery

Collaborations with Astrophysics
Collaborations with Physics
Collaborations with Earth Sciences
Collaborations with Life Sciences
Collaborations with Material Sciences


This image, and the movie below, was created by Nancy Johnston, LBNL Visualization Group Leader (1990-2001) for Saul Perlmutter of the LBNL Physics Division. The left image shows a prototypical Type Ia supernova. The image on the right shows the spectra emitted by the SN on the bottom half, while the top half shows the the temporal location during the lifetime of the SN. The SN emits more light, and at a different spectral balance, earlier in its lifetime.

Collaborations with Physics

Plasma Research at MIT

It is estimated that plasmas make up 99% of all matter in our universe. They can be found everywhere from the Sun and other stars to the neon sign at your local bar. One of the most important goals of plasma research is to create a thermonuclear fusion reactor that will produce electricity and serve as a source of plentiful energy. One device used to contain plasmas while they are heated to the extremely high temperatures needed for fusion to occur is called a Tokamak. Scientists are studying how instabilities develop in this toroidal magnetic bottle (pictured above) that limit how long the plasma can be contained.

The first image shows current density on the midplane of the tokamak and in three cross-sectional slices. The second image shows an isosurface of the same dataset. This visualization helped researchers demonstrate inaccuracies in standard computer models of tokamaks.


Lattice Gauge Theory

Computations suggest that the quarks which compose protons are confined in space. How they are confined determines the size of protons which are a fundamental part of all atoms. We show a single three dimensional slice of a four dimensional space depicting the probable location densities using colored volumes and surfaces. Such visualization techniques allow researchers to explore and understand the results of their complex computations done on supercomputers. The underlying computations were accomplished using NERSC's 128 processor Cray T3E supercomputer.

One of these images appears on the cover of a NERSC periodical Buffer, Fall 1996.


Nuclear Science at LBNL

The STAR project involves building a large particle detector which will aid in the search for the quark-gluon plasma. The detector records the locations of ionization events (blue or red squares in the images) as the particles given off by the collision pass through the gas filling the chamber. The events are then reconstructed into tracks (red lines) by pattern recognition software.

Software was written by the STAR group to visualize the tracks and detector. The visualization group rewrote the code to use OpenGL instead of GL (to increase portability) and added support for 6 DOF input devices such as a "3D mouse".


Collaborations with Earth Sciences

Copper Mines

Virtual Reality technology is used to implement a user-interface which permits a scientist to visualize and manipulate a subset of a large, three-dimensional data set with complex spatial structure. As part of a 1997 LDRD, Researchers at LBNL and the University of California, Berkeley, are developing a code to model chemical and hydrological processes which will run on an MP machine at NERSC The half-million data points are assay measurements from 11,000 bores, and provided by a mining compnay in Chile.


Chemical Flooding

These images are from the UTCHEM project. For more information, images and movies on this project, see the UTCHEM project page.


BP Exploration and Western Atlas Software

Title: In the Mix. This is LBNL's entry into the 1996 SGI image contest. More info.

A collaborative effort involving LBNL, Western Atlas Software, and BP Exploration focuses on developing new techniques for visualizing oil flux. One method of "direct" visualization of underground oil transport uses icons, such as cones, at grid points. An indirect method derives information about the oil flow, and is represented with streamlines. These techniques and numerous others were rapily prototyped at the Berkeley Lab Visualization Laboratory under the ACTI Iniative. Visit our ACTI home page.

Resevoir Characterization

This image is from work done with the Earth Sciences Division. For more information and images see the project page for this work.

Collaborations with Life Sciences

Chemical Structure Determination

Actin, a protien, is a major component of muscle. Muscles are formed from millions of fibers, which in turn are built from protien molecules. One represenation of the actin molecule is the structural backbone, which shows the bonds between atoms using a "stick" model. A different representation of actin is electron density. We show electron density at two different resolutions. The brown surface is a high resolution surface obtained by X-Ray crystallography. The blue surface is computed from a simulation where the resolution has been artificially reduced. The purpose of the visualization is to aid in interpreting experimental data that is limited in resolution. Researchers make use of visualization tools to verify that structures apparent in lower resolution data correspond to structures in higher resolution data.


Radiation Biology and DNA Repair

This image is from work done with the Department of Radiation Biology and DNA Repair in the Life Sciences Division at LBNL. For more information and images see the project page for this work.


Collaborations with Material Science

NMR Simulation

Material Scientists use Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) technology for many purposes, including chemical structure determination. To better understand the results of NMR experiments, UCB/LBNL researchers are using the Cray T3E supercomputer to simulate the response of crystalline structures to an applied magnetic field. This image shows the induced current (white arrows) and charge density (colored plane and grey surface) in crystalized glycine. For more information on this work, see the Project page.


PHSCologram Images

Page of PHSCologram images with more information.