Scientists to probe universe with stg£1.9m supercomputer


23 Jun 2011

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A new stg£1.9m supercomputer has been designed to help Durham University scientists probe the universe.

The Cosmology Machine Supercomputer at the university’s Institute of Computational Cosmology (ICC) has a memory of 15.4 terabytes. That is equal to 7,500 normal home PCs. The supercomputer, known as Cosma 4, also has a disc storage capacity of a petabyte, or a million gigabytes.

The institute specialises in developing computer simulations of the universe’s evolution, so researchers can learn more about its behaviour.

"Among the theories the ICC will be testing is that of dark matter – a mysterious substance which scientists believe is required to explain galaxy motions that would otherwise violate the laws of physics," the university said in a statement.

"The researchers’ simulations will also aid the investigation of the accelerated expansion of the universe which scientists believe is driven by a mysterious and poorly understood force – ‘dark energy’.

"The ICC is a leading international centre for research into the origin and evolution of the universe, addressing some of the most fundamental questions in science, such as how did the universe begin and how did it evolve to its current state."