Pocket Universe | by Brian Koberlein



12 September 2021

The distribution of dark matter in the Uchuu simulation.
Tomoaki Ishiyama
The distribution of darkish matter within the Uchuu simulation.

Astronomy is a bit completely different from many sciences since you solely have a pattern dimension of 1. The cosmos incorporates every thing we are able to observe, so astronomers can’t research a number of universes to see how our universe ticks. However they’ll create laptop simulations of our universe. By tweaking completely different elements of their simulation, astronomers can see how issues corresponding to darkish matter and darkish power play a task in our universe. Now, in case you are keen to spring for a flowery exhausting drive, you possibly can hold considered one of these simulations in your pocket.

The Uchuu simulation is the biggest and most detailed simulation of the universe ever made. It incorporates 2.1 trillion “particles” in an area 9.6 billion light-years throughout. The simulation fashions the evolution of the universe throughout greater than 13 billion years. It doesn’t give attention to the formation of stars and planets however as a substitute appears to be like on the conduct of darkish matter inside an increasing universe. The element of Uchuu is excessive sufficient that the staff can establish every thing from galaxy clusters to the darkish matter halos of particular person galaxies. Since darkish matter makes up a lot of the matter within the universe, it’s the principal driver of galaxy formation and clustering.

A 100Tb SSD drive could fit in a large pocket.
Linus Tech Suggestions
A 100Tb SSD drive might slot in a big pocket.

It takes an amazing quantity of computational energy and storage to create such an in depth mannequin. The staff used over 40,000 laptop cores and 20 million laptop hours to generate their simulation, and it produced greater than 3 Petabytes of knowledge. That’s 3,000 Terabytes or 3 million Gigabytes for us mortals. Utilizing high-density compression, nevertheless, the staff was in a position to compress their outcomes right into a mere 100 Terabytes of storage.

That’s nonetheless an amazing quantity of knowledge, however it may be saved on a single drive. For instance, the Exadrive from Nimbus is a 100 Tb solid-state drive in a normal 3.5-inch type issue. Granted, it can set you again $40,000, however in case you have that form of change hiding between your sofa cushions, why not use it to maintain a universe in your pocket. Happily, if you happen to don’t have that a lot spare change, you possibly can entry the info on-line. The Uchuu staff has their uncooked knowledge on skiesanduniverses.org, so you possibly can discover their digital universe all you need.

Along with being an in depth cosmic simulation, the Uchuu simulation can be utilized by researchers engaged on scientific knowledge mining. As giant sky surveys and extra simulations are created, the info will develop into so giant knowledge mining will play a vital position in astronomical analysis. Till that knowledge turns into out there, knowledge miners can hone their expertise on a pocket universe.

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