Bolshoi: Largest Computer Simulation Of The Universe
The Bolshoi simulation made use of the Pleiades supercomputer at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing facility (NAS) at NASA Ames Research Center. It is the most accurate cosmological simulation of the evolution of the large-scale structure of the universe yet completed.
(The Bolshoi Simulation)
Visualization of the dark matter in 1/1000 of the gigantic Bolshoi cosmological simulation, zooming in on a region centered on the dark matter halo of a very large cluster of galaxies. Visualized by Chris Henze, NASA Ames Research Center.
The starting point for Bolshoi was the best ground- and space-based observations, including NASA’s long-running and highly successful WMAP Explorer mission that has been mapping the light of the Big Bang in the entire sky. One of the world's fastest supercomputers then calculated the evolution of a typical region of the universe a billion light years across. The Bolshoi simulation took 6 million cpu hours to run on the Pleiades supercomputer—recently ranked as seventh fastest of the world’s top 500 supercomputers—at NASA Ames Research Center.
Due to significant advances in the measurement of the cosmological parameters and in the power and speed of supercomputers and simulation codes over the past half-decade since the Millennium cosmological simulation, the Bolshoi simulation is substantially better in resolution and accuracy. The Principal Investigators of the Bolshoi project, Anatoly Klypin and Joel Primack, and their colleagues anticipate that Bolshoi will become cosmology’s new benchmark simulation for making theoretical predictions that can then be tested against data gathered by observational astronomers.
Fans of the marvelous Stanislaw Lem recall that in his 1965 novel The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age, he wrote about a vast computing device called the Gnostotron:
"...To put it simply, then, all we have to do is construct a digital device, a computer capable of producing an informational model of absolutely everything in existence. Properly programmed, it will provide us with an exact simulation of the Highest Possible Level of Development, which we can then question and thereby obtain the Ultimate Answers!"
As it turned out, this digital device was none other than the famed Gnostotron conceived by Chlorian Theoreticus the Proph just before his lamentable demise, a machine able literally to contain the Universe Itself within its innumerable memory banks.
(Read more about Lem's Gnostotron)
Is there anything bigger than the Bolshoi (большой means "big" in Russian) simulation? A second simulation called BigBolshoi or MultiDark, was run with the same number of particles, but in a volume 4 billion light years across, thus 64 times larger.
Amusingly, Stanislaw Lem also conceived of an even larger computer than the Gnostotron - the Gigagnostotron!
From Bolshoi Cosmological Simulations.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/30/2011)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
AIREAL Lets You Feel Virtual Objects In The Open Air
'Startled, he touched his mouth. 'How the devil did you do that?' he shouted.'- Frederick Pohl, 1965.
Millimeter-Scale Computing For 'Internet of Things'
'In their megalomania they thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...'- Stanislaw Lem, 1965.
Fujitsu Touchscreen Mixes Real And Virtual Worlds
'His hands flashed over the keyboard - it had not been there a moment before, but it was operative...'- Frederik Pohl, 1965.
Nanowire Memristor Networks Form 'Brains'
'He had constructed ... a brain, of metal... whose atomic structure he claimed was analogous to the atomic structure of a living brain.'- Edmond Hamilton, 1926.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Haute Cuisine On International Space Station
'The gas gave sufficient heat for the culinary apparatus...'
Tongue Mouse Created By Valve Engineer
'He pressed hard with his tongue against his right upper first molar.'
K5 Autonomous Data Machine The Future Of Mall Security
''Halt!' A robot guard appeared...'
RF Safe-Stop Shuts Cars Off
'...a police control-override.'
Army's New Bird-Like Surveillance UAV
'The prototype blue-bellied, gray-backed tracer-bird with the wide-angle eye...'
Honda's Tumblebug - The UNI-CUB beta
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity...'
NASA's LADEE Enters Lunar Orbit
'... dust normally on the surface picks up and keeps a charge.'
3D Printing An Entire Car
"... Almost as good as the original it was printed from."
Aldebaran Robot Talks Like C3PO - Almost
'See Vee Threepio - Vee for versatility - at your service...'
Google's Skin Tattoo Lie Detector
'Three and a half centimetres in diameter, permanently fixed in the centre of his forehead.'
inFORM Dynamic Shape Output Device
Like that pushpin device you remember, but supercharged.
Owlet Vitals, The Future Of Baby Monitoring
'In every diaper there is a fine copper wire...'
Robert Heinlein, Your Personal Electric Helicopter Will Be Ready In 2016
"They were half way home when a single flyer, hopping free in a copter harness, approached the little parade."
WildCat Runs Faster Than You, Untethered
'...moving with such drifting ease that it was like a single solid cloud of black-grey smoke blown at him in silence.' Almost.
HiBot's ACM-R5H Robot Video Shows Graceful Terminator-Style Swimming
'No! No! Aaaaaaarrrrrrgh!'
tDCS Jumpstarts Your Future
'We invented a scanner that can change the labyrinthine neural connections of the brain by tiny electronic impulses...'.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories