Magneticum Pathfinder: Evolution of the universe in an unmatched precision

October 21, 2015
Simulation: Klaus Dolag/LMU, magneticum.org

Within modern cosmology, the Big Bang marks the beginning of the universe and the creation of matter, space and time about 13.8 billion years ago. Since then, the visible structures of the cosmos have developed: billions of galaxies which bind gas, dust, stars and planets with gravity and host supermassive black holes in their centres. But how could these visible structures have formed from the universe's initial conditions?

To answer this question, theoretical astrophysicists carry out cosmological simulations. They transform their knowledge about the forming our universe into mathematical models and simulate the evolution of our universe on high-performance computers over billions of years.

A group of theoretical astrophysicists from the LMU led by Klaus Dolag has now, as part of the Magneticum Pathfinder project, performed a new, unique hydrodynamic simulation of the large-scale distribution of the universe's visible matter. The most recent results regarding the three most important cosmic ingredients of the universe are taken into account - the dark energy, the dark matter and the visible matter.

The scientists incorporated a variety of physical processes in the calculations, including three that are considered particularly important for the development of the visible universe: first, the condensation of matter into stars, second, their further evolution when the surrounding matter is heated by stellar winds and supernova explosions and enriched with chemical elements, and third, the feedback of that eject massive amounts of energy into the universe.

The most comprehensive simulation covers the spatial area of a cube with a box size of 12.5 billion light years. This tremendous large section of the universe was never part of a simulation before. It was divided into a previously unattained number of 180 billion resolution elements, each representing the detailed properties of the universe and containing about 500 bytes of information.

For the first time, these numerous characteristics make it possible to compare a cosmological simulation in detail with large-scale astronomical surveys. "Astronomical surveys from space telescopes like Planck or Hubble observe a large segment of the visible universe while sophisticated simulations so far could only model very small parts of the , making a direct comparison virtually impossible," says Klaus Dolag. "Thus, Magneticum Pathfinder marks the beginning of a new era in computer-based cosmology."

This achievement is preceded by ten years of research and development, accompanied by experts of the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences, one of the most powerful scientific computer centres in Europe. "One of the biggest challenge for such a complex problem is to find the right balance between optimizing the simulation code and the development of the astrophysical modelling," explains Klaus Dolag. "While the code permanently needs to be adjusted to changing technologies and new hardware, the underlying models need to be improved by including better or additional descriptions of the physical processes which form our ."

The realization of this largest simulation within the Magneticum Pathfinder project took about two years. The research group of Klaus Dolag was supported by the physicists of the datacentre C2PAP which is operated by the Excellence Cluster Universe and located at the LRZ. Within the framework of several one-week workshops, the Magneticum Pathfinder team got the opportunity to use the LRZ' entire highest-performance supercomputer SuperMUC for its simulation. "I do not know any datacentre that would have allowed me to use the entire computing capacity for such a long time," says Klaus Dolag.

Overall, the Magneticum Pathfinder simulation utilised all 86,016 computing cores and the complete usable main memory - 155 out of a total of 194 terabytes - of the expansion stage "Phase 2" of the SuperMUC which was put into operation recently. The entire required 25 million CPU hours and generated 320 terabytes of scientific data.

These data are now available for interested researchers worldwide. The Munich-based astrophysicists are already engaged in further projects: Among others, Klaus Dolag is currently collaborating with scientists from the Planck collaboration to compare observations of the Planck satellite with the calculations of Magneticum Pathfinder.

Explore further: A simulation of the universe with realistic galaxies

More information: www.magneticum.org/

Dolag, Gaensler, Beck & Beck: Constraints on the distribution and energetics of fast radio bursts using cosmological hydrodynamic simulations, 2015, MNRAS 451,4277,arXiv: 1412.4829

Teklu, Remus & Dolag et al.: Connecting Angular Momentum and Galactic Dynamics: The complex Interplay between Spin, Mass, and Morphology, The Astrophysical Journal 2015, (in press), arxiv:1503.03501

Remus, Dolag & Bachmann et al.: Disk Galaxies in the Magneticum Pathfinder Simu-lations, 2015, International Astronomical Union Symposium, Volume 309,145-148

Dolag, Komatsu & Sunyaev: SZ effects in the Magneticum Pathfinder Simulation: Comparison with the Planck, SPT, and ACT results, 2015, arXiv:1509.05134

Bocquet, Saro, Dolag & Mohr: Baryon impact on the halo mass function: Fitting formulae and implications for cluster cosmology, 2015, arXiv:1502.07357

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9 comments

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wduckss
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 21, 2015
The computer is good, but it serves no purpose if the data are, for input, illusions, instead of facts (evidence).
"The scientists incorporate a variety of physical processes in the calculations, including three that are considered particularly important for the development of the visible universe: first, the condensation of matter into stars, second, their further evolution when the surrounding matter is heated by stellar winds and supernova explosions and enriched with chemical elements, and third, the feedback of supermassive black holes that eject massive amounts of energy into the universe. "
Captain Stumpy
3.9 / 5 (7) Oct 21, 2015
The computer is good, but it serves no purpose if the data are, for input, illusions, instead of facts (evidence).
@wduck
perhaps you should have read the links and more information before commenting?
The Magneticum simulations are aiming to follow the formation of cosmological structures over a large range of cosmological scales by performing a set of hydrodynamical simulations of different cosmological volumes, each of them sampled with a very large number of particles providing excellent spacial resolution of the different simulations. We take many physical processes into account to allow detailed comparisons to a variety of multi-wavelength observational data.
http://www.magneticum.org/

it is based upon known physics

(and before the eu folk start in on " hydrodynamical simulations", first learn actual physics & astrophysics: http://ocw.mit.ed...ophysics )
wduckss
1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 22, 2015
The computer is good, but it serves no purpose if the data are, for input, illusions, instead of facts (evidence).
@wduck
perhaps you should have read the links and more information before commenting? ...
.

What really, if it is foundation of the Big Bang?
You hold the physics of the ancient Greeks, I do not follow such path longer time.
Why comment if is, it (comment), copied from existing books?
Authors (articles they are trying to) give new values, how new values measured the worn hypotéza?
Captain Stumpy
4.1 / 5 (9) Oct 22, 2015
You hold the physics of the ancient Greeks,
uhmmm... no
modern physics is a far cry from ancient greeks. that isn't even a good attempt at logic, let alone semi-accurate
WTF?

the rest of your post is gibberish...
as for foundations?
not knowing is a part of science. it is how we learn
but that doesn't mean we will never know.

docile
Oct 22, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (6) Oct 22, 2015
performed a new, unique hydrodynamic simulation of the large-scale distribution of the universe's visible matter
Does it mean, the vacuum is behaving like fluid? Is the aether model creeping back into cosmology, just under another name?
@zephir/docile/et al
you really should learn how to look things up if you aren't going to actually learn anything about astrophysics...
1- "hydrodynamic" as in MHD
MHD simulations
Currently there are various simulations of Box3/hr as full MHD simulations available, including simulations combining cooling and star-formation with MHD. They are probing different scenarious for the origin of the magnetic field within the LSS
http://www.magnet...ons.html

you know, Plasma physics. as found here: http://ocw.mit.ed...ophysics

or here: http://www.pppl.gov/

are you illiterate? it's not your aw religion, this is reality stuff
physics
MHD
real.
Colbourne
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 22, 2015
They should try getting rid of the ideas of dark matter and dark energy and instead run the simulation with anti-matter having negative gravity. This will cause the matter and anti-matter to repulse and should lead to a result similar to what we can actually see.
I would suggest starting with an equal amount of each.
wduckss
2.3 / 5 (3) Oct 22, 2015
You hold the physics of the ancient Greeks,
uhmmm... no
modern physics is a far cry from ancient greeks. that isn't even a good attempt at logic, let alone semi-accurate
WTF?

the rest of your post is gibberish...
as for foundations?
not knowing is a part of science. it is how we learn
but that doesn't mean we will never know.


The word is about the astrophysics of the universe. There is no nor a little modern nor real.
Proto galaxy are excl stars or bright, what produces the light?
Object distances (13.8 ..) represents the age and history.
The explosion of the star creates a black hole or from residual substances produced manifold higher new stars.
All clusters of galaxies are moving in one direction, it is not known where, only that it is not outward.
Stars it is condensed at once or do not know the force that it can be done ...
I Have Questions
not rated yet Oct 24, 2015
When I see that picture of the large scale universe it makes me think, my god, it's full of spaghetti.

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