Modeling the Mystery of the Earth’s Movements

Exploring the Chico Experience

By Kacey Gardner, Editorial Assistant

brownellUnderstanding the shape and behavior of our planet is an absolutely classic problem, says Kyle Rocha-Brownell, a double major in physics and computer science.

In fact, says senior Rocha-Brownell, “It’s one of the oldest scientific questions on record.”

In a project funded by an Undergraduate Award for Research and Creativity from the CSU, Chico Provost’s Office, Rocha-Brownell spent the summer writing a computer program to simulate the rotation of Earth’s crust and core—a tool that he hopes could eventually give insight into these age-old questions.

“Although it sounds rather geological, I’m conducting it as a physics project—with a bit of computer science, of course,” he says. “I plan to include a 3-D rendering of the rotations, so that should look pretty cool to even non-scientists.”

Senior Kyle Brownell uses C++ code to model 3-D renderngs of the Earth's rotations. Senior Kyle Brownell uses C++ code to model 3-D renderings of the Earth’s rotations.

The end result will be a…

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