Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Twelve-Hour Simulation

Yes, yes, I know. I haven’t written anything since the beginning of November. But then again, there wasn’t much going on during the first two weeks. It was always work in the morning, work in the afternoon, and some volleyball in the weekend. Typical Cambridge weeks for me. Also, for the past few days I haven’t been well. It started as a sore throat but turned into a cold. I’m feeling a bit better now but this means I have to catch up on the things that I didn’t do when I was sick.

Our research project has moved on to the next stage: running simulations. Of course, I still haven’t fully understood the entirety of the codes. I didn’t write it myself. Instead, we were given codes from a previous project and were told to modify it accordingly. If we have lots of time, I would have preferred to fully non-dimensionalise the codes but our supervisor said that it is probably too much for a 4th year research project. Plus, according to her, when we rewrite the code a lot of the time spent later will be on debugging (apart from running the simulations) so it’s probably not a good idea if you’re not a PhD student and have other things to worry about apart from the project.

We did our first full run yesterday night. We were trying to simulate 35 seconds of a reactor system. However, it turns out that after two hours of real time, only six seconds of simulation time is done. So this means that we have to leave it running overnight. Compare this to my paint drying project in which I modelled a layer of paint from the time it was applied to the time it dried in 20 seconds real time.

Well, that’s it then. I’m off to process the raw data. Will write more later.