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Largest Virtual Universe Created, May Solve Mystery Of Dark Matter

First Posted: Jun 14, 2017 04:20 AM EDT
Euclid Satellite
The objective of Euclid is to better understand dark energy and dark matter by accurately measuring the acceleration of the universe.
(Photo : Wiz Science™/YouTube screenshot)

The largest ever virtual universe that mimics the formation of galaxies has been created by a team of researchers, according to a recent report. The model may hold clues that could help in determining the nature of the mysterious dark matter, which is believed to make up the major portion of the cosmos.

According to Zee News, the massive catalog is comprised of around 25 billion virtual galaxies, created from 2 trillion digital particles with a super computer. It is being used to calibrate the tests on board the Euclid satellite that is going to be launched in 2020 and thereon will study the nature of dark energy and dark matter.

Incidentally, it took three years to complete the computer code called PKDGRAV3. The code was then executed on the world-leading machine for only 80 hours, during which duration it created a virtual universe of 2 trillion macro-particles that represent the dark matter fluid. From this data, the catalog of 25 billion virtual galaxies was extracted.

The research team simulated the creation of a small concentration of matter, known as dark matter halos in which galaxies like Milky Way are believed to get formed -- with the clear precision of their calculation that featured a dark matter fluid evolving under its gravity. According to the research team, around 95 percent of the universe is dark. Furthermore, the cosmos consists of 72 percent dark energy and 23 percent dark matter.

"Euclid will perform a tomographic map of our Universe, tracing back in time more than 10-billion-year of evolution in the cosmos," researcher Joachim Stadel said, according to a Science Alert report. The scientists will gather new information on the nature of the elusive dark energy and also hope to find new physics beyond the standard model from the Euclid model -- like a new type of particle or a modified version of general relativity.

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