michael from the first,-assume-a-spherical-cow dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "An international group of cosmologists, the Virgo Consortium, has realized the first simulation of the entire universe, starting 380,000 years after the Big Bang and going up to now. In 'Computing the Cosmos,' IEEE Spectrum writes that the scientists used a 4.2 teraflops system at the Max Planck Society's Computing Center in Garching, Germany, to do the computations. The whole universe was simulated by ten billion particles, each having a mass a billion times that of our sun. As it was necessary to compute the gravitational interactions between each of the ten billion mass points and all the others, a task that needed 60,000 years, the computer scientists devised a couple of tricks to reduce the amount of computations. And in June 2004, the first simulation of our universe was completed. The resulting data, which represents about 20 terabytes, will be available to everyone in the months to come, at least to people with a high-bandwidth connection. Read more here about the computing aspects of the simulation, but if you're interested by cosmology, the long original article is a must-read."
When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one,
an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
- Edmund Burke