Programmer speeds search for gravitational waves
A global effort to detect gravitational waves has received an unexpected boost after a volunteer improved the computer code used comb through data from ground-based detectors.
Akos Fekete, a Hungarian programmer, is one of network of people who contribute their spare computer processing power to a project called Einstein@home, launched by the American Physical Society (APS) in March 2005. This links volunteers' PCs via the internet and uses their combined power to probe for data patterns that could reveal gravitational waves.
He modified the code and submitted it to the project co-ordinators. The modifications have doubled the speed of the project, says James Riordon, a spokesman for the APS. Many other participants have been stunned by the improvements.
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