Home computers to help researchers better understand universe

Oct 24, 2007

Want to help unravel the mysteries of the universe" A new distributed computing project designed by a University of Illinois researcher allows people around the world to participate in cutting-edge cosmology research by donating their unused computing cycles.

The project is called Cosmology@Home, and is similar to SETI@Home, a popular program that searches radio telescope data for evidence of extraterrestrial transmissions.

“When you run Cosmology@Home on your computer, it uses part of the computer’s processing power, disk space and network bandwidth,” said project leader Benjamin D. Wandelt, a professor of astronomy and of physics at Illinois.

“Our goal is to search for cosmological models that describe our universe and agree with available astronomical and particle physics data,” Wandelt said.

To achieve this goal, participating computers calculate the observable predictions of millions of theoretical models with different parameters. The predictions are then compared with actual data, including fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background, large-scale distributions of galaxies, and the acceleration of the universe.

In addition to picking out possible models, Cosmology@Home could help design future cosmological observations and prepare for the analysis of future data sets, such as those to be collected by the Planck spacecraft, Wandelt said.

Additional information can be found at cosmologyathome.org

Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Explore further: SpaceX will try again Fri. to launch station cargo

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Creative activities outside work can improve job performance

1 hour ago

Employees who pursue creative activities outside of work may find that these activities boost their performance on the job, according to a new study by San Francisco State University organizational psychologist Kevin Eschleman ...

Simplicity is key to co-operative robots

2 hours ago

A way of making hundreds—or even thousands—of tiny robots cluster to carry out tasks without using any memory or processing power has been developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Freight train industry to miss safety deadline

2 hours ago

The U.S. freight railroad industry says only one-fifth of its track will be equipped with mandatory safety technology to prevent most collisions and derailments by the deadline set by Congress.

Recommended for you

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

5 hours ago

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...

Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

7 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published ...

Let's put a sailboat on Titan

10 hours ago

The large moons orbiting the gas giants in our solar system have been getting increasing attention in recent years. Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is the only natural satellite known to house a thick atmosphere. ...

Image: Rosetta's Philae lander snaps a selfie

10 hours ago

Philae is awake… and taking pictures! This image, acquired last night with the lander's CIVA (Comet nucleus Infrared and Visible Analyzer) instrument, shows the left and right solar panels of ESA's well-traveled ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

(Phys.org) —Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published ...

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...

Let's put a sailboat on Titan

The large moons orbiting the gas giants in our solar system have been getting increasing attention in recent years. Titan, Saturn's largest moon, is the only natural satellite known to house a thick atmosphere. ...

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.