The Violent Beauty of Our Evolving Universe
Imagine if you could assemble all known physics, throw it into a powerful supercomputer and watch a virtual universe evolve. Well, that’s exactly what a team of physicists at Stanford University’s Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) have done.
This mammoth task has culminated in a part-physics/part-art exhibit that is being showcased in 3D videos playing at a theater on the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and featured at planetariums in New York City and San Francisco.
In the videos, everything from dark matter to star formation is simulated. One simulation even demonstrates the majestic collision between two galaxies just as they merge to become one.
Here’s a sneak peek of a few of the stunning scenes showcased in the simulations.
Image1 : A dwarf galaxy grows. Credits: SLAC/KIPAC, John Wise and Tom Abel (simulation), Ralf Kaehler (visualization)
Image 2: Baby stars ignite inside a cloud of dense hydrogen and burn brightly. Credits: SLAC/KIPAC, John Wise and Tom Abel (simulation), Ralf Kaehler (visualization).