Supercomputers Crunching Potato Chips, Proteins & Nuclear Bombs

If you've ever wondered what some of today's top supercomputers are up to, this article on CNN explains many of the more common applications.  Some of them are used for tasks like forecasting weather, designing safer more fuel-efficient cars, mapping DNA, exploring the cosmos and even calculating the curvature of Pringles potato chips.

"Supercomputers allow researchers to do in real time -- meaning days, weeks or months -- what could not be done during a lifetime with a single personal computer. "The amount of data that some of these supercomputers [produce] would be, maybe as much as 100,000 times more data than what you can put on a hard drive on a normal PC," Turek said."

While you're there, be sure to check out the gallery of well known supercomputers.  And click the tab that compares a standard PC to a supercomputer as well.  If you think current desktop systems use a ton of power, how does 1.5 megawatts and 5.8 million BTUs per hour sound?