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The largest supercomputer ever built creates an accurate virtual simulation of the universe

Date:

Tuesday 24 October 2023 / 19:00

From the Big Bang to today, astronomers have run massive “supercomputer” simulations to help solve some of the universe’s greatest mysteries.

The goal is to compare the virtual universe with what we know about the real world, including new information captured by high-powered telescopes that sometimes don’t match what was expected.

This will help scientists understand whether the current theory of how the universe formed, known as the Standard Model of the Universe, is a good description of reality.

The project, called “Flamingo”, calculated the evolution of all elements of the universe, including ordinary matter, dark matter and dark energy, according to the laws of physics.

Collaborating researcher on the “Flamingo” project from Durham University Professor Carlos Frenk said: “Cosmology is at a crossroads, and now there are exciting new data from powerful telescopes, some of which, at first glance, do not match our theoretical expectations.”

“High-resolution simulations of the universe can tell us the answer,” he added.

Previous simulations that have been compared to observations of the universe have focused on cold dark matter, which is thought to be a key component of the universe’s structure. However, astronomers now say that the influence of ordinary matter, which makes up only 16% of all matter in the universe, including Earth and everything in it, and neutrinos, tiny particles that rarely interact with ordinary matter, must also be present. is taken into account when trying to understand the evolution of the universe.

The researchers have been running simulations on a powerful supercomputer in Durham for the past two years. The simulations took more than 50 million processing hours on the COSMA 8 supercomputer run by the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University on behalf of the Dirac High Performance Computing facility in the UK.

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Funding for the project came from the European Research Council, the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and the Swiss National Science Foundation.Metro“Electronic.”

Stuart Wagner
Stuart Wagner
"Professional coffee fan. Total beer nerd. Hardcore reader. Alcohol fanatic. Evil twitter buff. Friendly tv scholar."

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