What's the Latest Development?
One of the world's five most powerful supercomputers has been used to construct the first-ever model of the entire observable Universe. Named CURIE, the computer is equipped with more than 92,000 CPUs and can perform 2 million billion operations per second. Scientists have used it, along with the standard model, to simulate the Universe with a cosmological constant from the big bang up to the present day. Two additional simulations will focus on "the cosmological evolution of models with dark energy, the mysterious component introduced to account for the accelerated expansion of the Universe."
What's the Big Idea?
The current simulation has already allowed scientists to discover new properties concerning the distribution of matter throughout the Universe. "The researchers have found that the first galaxy clusters formed when the Universe was only 2 billion years old and the most massive cluster in the observable Universe today weighs 15 quadrillion (or 15 thousand trillion) solar masses." The simulation has also revealed, with unprecedented accuracy, the imprint of the Baryon Acoustic Oscillations which are responsible for the distribution of dark matter. The data are being called a "gold mine" for the cosmological community.
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