Research @ KICP
June 16, 2006
Galaxy evolution in cyber universe matches astronomical observations in fine detail
by Steve Koppes (University of Chicago Press Office)
Scientists at the University of Chicago have bolstered the case for a popular scenario of the big bang theory that neatly explains the arrangement of galaxies throughout the universe. Their supercomputer simulation shows how dark matter, an invisible material of unknown composition, herded luminous matter in the universe from its initial smooth state into the cosmic web of galaxies and galaxy clusters that populate the universe. <br /><br /> Previous studies by other researchers had already verified the main features of this scenario, called the cold dark matter model. The Chicago team further extended this work by comparing the results of their supercomputer simulations to the newest, most detailed astronomical observations available today. They found an excellent fit, and they did so without basing their simulations on a lot of complex assumptions. <br /><br /> ''The model we use is really, really simple,'' said Andrey Kravtsov, Associate Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics. ''We want to see how well this framework can do with a minimum number of assumptions.''