IBM's Blue Gene & Schrodinger's equation

deodiaus at gnu.ai.mit.edu deodiaus at gnu.ai.mit.edu
Tue Aug 29 23:44:04 EST 2000


    I went to a talk about Blue Gene, IBM's computer aimed at the
modeling protein folding.  This is an enormously complicated problem
and in essence, is only accurately described using Schrodinger's
equation?
    I am a numerical analyst, who specializes in computational graphics
and electromagnetism. By that same token, my exposure to biology has
been limited. Basically, while an undergraduate, I took one class as a
freshman called "Molecular Biology". Later on, when living in
Cambridge, I audited a class in "Computational Aspects of Molecular
Biology" at MIT. I guess what really got me interested in Computational
Biology was a quote by the editor of "Computer" magazine in 1997, who
said "Biology is going to make as heavy an impact on the 21st century
as Physics did on the 20th century." Since then, I have been following
this field quite closely and have been toying with this field.
Do anyone know of any attempts to work on solving this problem using
Schrodinger's equation? Yes, this seems like an impossible task,
however, the equation also seems to describe the correct physics of the
problem much more accurately, and holds the key to true results. While
in math grad school, I learned some things about modeling stochastic
differential equation, and was wondering if anyone thought that this
approach had any hope of being applied within our lifetimes? While
interviewing for grad school at RPI, I met some professors who believe
that the next breakthroughs in computational modeling will come in
applying these higher mathematics concepts (e.g. Functional Analysis)
to practical problems, because we seemed to have exhausted the simpler
approaches.


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