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Scientists Release Most Accurate Simulation of the Universe to Date


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Bolshoi simulation

The Bolshoi simulation reveals a cosmic web of dark matter that underlies the large-scale structure of the universe and, through its gravitational effects on ordinary matter, drives the formation of galaxies and galaxy clusters.

Credit: Courtesy of Stefan Gottlober (AIP)

The Bolshoi simulation, which ran on the Pleiades supercomputer at the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Ames Research Center, is the most accurate and detailed large cosmological simulation run to date, according to researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz and New Mexico State University.

They say the simulation provides researchers with a powerful new tool for understanding galaxy formation, dark matter, and dark energy. "What's exciting is that we now have this highly accurate simulation that will provide the basis for lots of important new studies in the months and years to come," says Santa Cruz professor Joel Primack.

The main goal of the Bolshoi simulation is to compute and model the evolution of dark matter halos. The Bolshoi simulation focused on a representative section of the universe, computing the evolution of a cubic volume measuring about one billion light years on a side. Other simulations, such as BigBolshoi, which measures a volume 64 times larger than Bolshoi, and MiniBolshoi, which focuses on a smaller part of the universe but with higher resolution, also have been run on the Pleiades supercomputer.

From UC Santa Cruz
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Abstracts Copyright © 2011 Information Inc. External Link, Bethesda, Maryland, USA 

 


 

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