Text Size
Facebook Twitter More...

In the early 2000s, a small community of coder-cosmologists set out to simulate the 14-billion-year history of the universe on a supercomputer. They aimed to create a proxy of the cosmos, a Cliffs Notes version in computer code that could run in months instead of giga-years, to serve as a laboratory for studying the real universe.

The simulations failed spectacularly. Like mutant cells in a petri dish, mock galaxies grew all wrong, becoming excessively starry blobs instead of gently rotating spirals. When the researchers programmed in supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies, the black holes either turned those galaxies into donuts or drifted out from galactic centers like monsters on the prowl.

But recently, the scientists seem to have begun to master the science and art of cosmos creation. They are applying the laws of physics to a smooth, hot fluid of (simulated) matter, as existed in the infant universe, and seeing the fluid evolve into spiral galaxies and galaxy clusters like those in the cosmos today.

To read more, click here.

Category: Science