It took nearly a year of high-powered number crunching on various supercomputers, but researchers from UC Santa Cruz and the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Zurich have finally produced a computer simulation of a galaxy that looks much like our own. That may not sound so huge on its face, but it actually is the first high-resolution simulation of its kind that has turned out a galaxy similar to the Milky Way, and it has rescued the prevailing "cold dark matter" cosmological model of how our disc galaxy formed from a good deal of doubt.
That doubt arose from the fact that when previous, lower-resolution models were run based on that cosmological model, a huge central bulge emerged in the galaxy--a bulge that is absent from all but the center of the Milky Way (another way of saying that: there was more bulge and less disc, whereas the Milky way is more disc, less bulge). This had some physicists thinking that perhaps there was a flaw in the cosmological model itself, which seemed incapable of producing via simulation the flat, spiral-armed qualities consistent with observations of our galaxy.
But the problem wasn't with the model, it turns out, but with the simulation of star formation. In reality, star formation happens in clusters, where dense clouds of gas feed the process of star birth in fairly tightly defined regions. But in low-resolution simulations(resolution in this sense means the ability to track individual particles), gas densities tended to spread out over relatively large areas, showing stars forming throughout the galaxy rather than in clusters. This led to a larger galactic bulge--and a less accurate picture of how Milky Way-like galaxies came into being.
To get the high resolution necessary to make the model work took a great deal of computing power, including 1.4 million processor-hours on NASA's Pleiades supercomputer as well as additional time on supercomputers at UC Santa Barbara and the Swiss National Supercomputing Center. And at the time, the researchers had no idea if their added resolution would really make a difference.
It turns out it did. The simulated galaxy, Eris, shares the shape, bulge-to-disk ratio, star content, brightness, and various other characteristics with the Milky Way, demonstrating that the "cold dark matter" model can produce spiral-armed disc galaxies like the one we call home after all.
This is amazing. I looking forward to supercomputers show how life evolved on this planet. I could watch a whole 2 hour documentary from day 1 to present. That would be cool to watch with a nice bag of Dank.
i cant believe this!! me and my sister just got two i-pads for $42.77 each and a $50 amazon card for $9. the stores want to keep this a secret and they dont tell you. go here http://tiny.cc/71l2f
@boka, what is a 'bag of Dank', just curious.
The researchers simulation is cool!
Do a Google internet search on simulated galaxy collisions. It’s really fun to watch.
The reality is the collisions take billions of years to occur and are very common in the universe. Because there is so much distance between stars and planets there is a good chance our planet earth could survive a galaxy collision with our neighbor Andromeda.
@BubbaGump - its a bad of weed
@BubbaGump do you know what weed is? dank nuggs. its means really really good sticky smelly flower buds off a marijuana plant. in other words really really good weed.
He should look into it. Maybe then he won't be responsible for 25% of all posts.
We have been visited by popsci's official troll.
To suddenly show up and whine that someone else is troll, you then are guilty of being the troll too, if you offer nothing useful to the said original article.
Quantity of comments is not a definition of trolling, but
more closely associated with spamming and involves solicitation.
In brief, internet-trolling means posting irrelevant, controversial, equivocating, ambiguous, or unclear response to a genuine set of arguments. Those who do such things are called as "an internet troll." It is commonly done in discussion forums or in blog type newsgroups.
Very refreshing to know that popsci users do drugs. Of course it won't make you cool. The rest of society will still classify you as nerds just for visiting a site like this.
However, if it's a means of escape from reality (especially one of social inadequacy) 'do ya thang, potna.' Not my style, but everyone could certainly use a release.
I do not use illegal drugs. I do not associate with others that use illegal drugs. I do encourage those of needed mental health care to seek a qualified Doctor and use drugs for their own happiness. Their medication needs to be managed by a qualified health care professional. There is no reason to suffer in life and everyone deserves some type of daily happiness. Typically, I encourage good healthy eating and exercise with sometime of relation included in your life too. Make a circle in your life mentally; include the things that help you and work to exclude the things that hurt you. It's your life, you have a right to health and happiness; evey person does.
Video, or the formation of the milky way never happened! (LOL)
I guess the most interesting thing about this software is that it forms galaxies in simulations based on astrophysical models (theory mind you).
What I'm curious about is whether or not the cosmological model is truly incapable of producing more eliptical galaxies rather than spirals as opposed to the "cold dark matter" model which obviously does?
To be more specific, did they do a few dozen to a few hundred simulations and then make a conclusion based on mathematical probability, or did they literally run thousands to millions of simulations (which would be on a more universal scale) and came up with nothing?
Mathematical probability can only be so accurate, especially if the entirety of the universe doesn't adhere to the same laws.
Regardless, this simulation (if the model name does it true justice) helps to further provide evidence of the existence of dark matter.
Funny, I've seen a simulation of a spiral galaxy being formed many times before this.
Bubba anyone that talks as much as you has nothing to say. You troll the board constantly making judgments about other commenters instead of just discussing the topic.(pulled me in) It always turns into you preaching to a board member and nitpicking their statements. That is after you make 5 attempts at a joke.
@jmadrigal12, congradulations of making and voicing your opinion.
This is in the city where I live?!?! Why haven't I been informed! Local newspapers are useless... I wonder if I can go see the simulation?
-Spouting a fountain of nonsense since 1995-
Hey if you think that marijuana is just another drug you are very wrong and apparently not to intelligent and believe everything the government tells you i see nothing wrong with enjoying some nice sticky icky every now and then hey its healthier for you than coffee, McDonald's food, and every other type of fast food and prescription out there, and, if you say it has no medical benefits idk where you have been your whole life and what lies you listen to If you people have any common sense and are not slaves to the government you would understand what i am saying.
I dig dude. Just not my style. I prefer coffee for a stimulant (because I'm already addicted to that; might kill me one day). Like I said everyone needs a release. Mine is smoking cigars, drinking beer & hard liquor, watching Comedy Central and reading the insightful, educational, and just plain silly funny comments that come on this website.
The only issue with illegal drugs is that they are illegal. Usually for good reasons, but with any narcotic moderation is everything. If you over indulge that's when you enter the realm of destroying your body and your brain, which is just as easy to do smoking and drinking as it is with the illegal variants.
About the the simulation, I'd still like some insight on the working theories to galactic formation. Speculation on this subject is most intriguing.
@Lord Elliot the...
I'm sorry to here that. Local news tend to focus on the people to people stuff happening in the community more than grandiose stuff like this. You'll always have to go to CNN, NY Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, or Popsci to get the latest and greatest of the news that matters (to some more than others) that could be happening in your own community.
Have a look to the movie of the simulation on www.youtube.com/cscsch#p/u/0/VQBzdcFkB7w and an interview with Lucio Mayer, one of the researchers explaining the relevance of his work www.youtube.com/ethics64#p/u/1/GYtBQR2oI4U
Let's quit the drug talk for a bit!
Phoenix1012 said:"Mathematical probability can only be so accurate, especially if the entirety of the universe doesn't adhere to the same laws."
A law should surely be valid anywhere in the universe, unless the law is incomplete. Why do we need to rely on maths probability rather than a physics principle?
I notice some physics principles are missing from the simulation exercise, (see below). Chiefly there is no mention of electromagnetic forces. Gravity is a factor of 10^39 weaker than em, and yet it's the main driver here, along with hydrodynamics [fluids in space?]! 'Particles of dark matter' - obviously testable in the laboratory?
"The simulation follows the interactions of more than 60 million particles of dark matter and gas. A lot of physics goes into the code--gravity and hydrodynamics, star formation and supernova explosions--.....," said Guedes, .. at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich).
With enough number crunching you could simulate anything! What about straightforward lab experiment? Hold the math and have a look here: plasma-universe.com/Image:Plasmoids-bostick.jpg. The explanation of Bostik's 1956 experiment is here: thunderbolts.info/tpod/2008/arch08/080124bostick.htm.
Since then computer simulations using basic electric laws have also produced barred galaxies from "two interacting Birkeland current filaments" (same stuff inside a plasma ball): holoscience.com/news.php?article=rnde0zza. Is this a better place to sink our govmt taxes - might even get us fusion power?
PLASMA is 99% of the universe, NOT gas, or dark matter, etc.
Interesting web sites and articles, thanks for the post.
You might also be interested in the this website:
Dr. Randell Mills claims that he has unified the forces of nature and found also a fifth force. He has done this with only: Maxwell's equations, Newton's laws of motion and Einstein's theory of relativity - no quantum mechanics needed. And, it explains everything from the micro to the macro.