Simulating a Universe With a Computer: Yes, This is Complicated

By Chris Mills on at

The EAGLE Project isn’t some neo-Nazi project to bring a cloned Hitler to life; rather, it’s trying to simulate a universe inside a supercomputer. Yes, it’s exactly as complicated as it sounds.

The project, housed at the University of Durham in the UK, is trying to understand how galaxies form and evolve. It starts using the basic information gleaned from cosmic microwave background by the Planck satellite, and then lets gravity ‘work its magic from there’.

EAGLE is one of the world’s largest hydrodynamic simulations: it uses seven billion particles to map galaxies, and took one and a half months to run on the DiRAC-2 supercomputer at Durham. [YouTube]