The name Niflheim

The NIFLHEIM cluster supercomputer was given a name through a naming competition held at the CAMP center in the summer of 2002.

In Nordic mythology Niflheim is the land of fog and ice, and Niflheim is part of the myth of creation: When the heat from Muspelheim melted the first drops of water from the ice of Niflheim, these drops formed into the giant Ymer, the first living creature. When Ymer was later killed, his dead body was molded into the world as we know it.

Read more about the Edda prose containing the Nordic myth of creation, see The Prose Edda (see the Gylfaginning section 4: Frá Niflheimi ok Múspelli). Here is another translation into English (check out Chapter 4, The Creation Of The World).

The NIFLHEIM cluster supercomputer is actually housed in a basement room with chilled air cooling, and NIFLHEIM is thus bitterly cold. This room is officially known as the Fog Room (in Danish: Tågerummet) because it was originally built with the purpose of experiments in the mid-1960’ies by Prof. R. E. H. Rasmussen trying to precipitate fog using electrical fields.