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Seeing the unseen universe, understanding dark energy and dark matter

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  • trixcleverspacealien
    [Date posted on SSS: 08-01-06 at: 11:41p.m.] [08-01-06 at: 11:17p.m.] http://www.physorg.com/ Physics / Physics Seeing the unseen universe 8 hours ago | User
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2006
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      [Date posted on SSS: 08-01-06 at: 11:41p.m.]



      [08-01-06 at: 11:17p.m.]

      http://www.physorg.com/


      Physics / Physics
      Seeing the unseen universe
      8 hours ago | User rating: 4 / 5

      A new method for incorporating astronomical observational data into
      computer simulations promises to be a significant advance in enabling
      future cosmological surveys aimed at understanding dark energy and
      dark matter. Dark ...


      http://www.physorg.com/news73667060.html

      Published August 01, 2006 in Physics > Physics

      Seeing the unseen universe


      A new method for incorporating astronomical observational data into
      computer simulations promises to be a significant advance in enabling
      future cosmological surveys aimed at understanding dark energy and
      dark matter. Dark matter and dark energy are theoretical forms of
      matter and energy thought to permeate all of space, with dark energy
      producing a large-scale force that is believed to produce an effect
      that works against gravity.

      By combining what are often very expensive simulations with data from
      observational instruments, like optical and radio telescopes,
      scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory are able to calibrate the
      computer simulations and create better predictive models of the universe.

      In research published recently in Astrophysical Journal Letters, Los
      Alamos scientists Katrin Heitmann, David Higdon, Charles Nakhleh, and
      Salman Habib describe their method for creating a statistical
      framework for astrophysical simulations. The framework includes
      methods for calibrating observations with simulations and for using
      the calibrated cosmic simulator to predict the results of new
      astronomical observations.

      According to Habib, a theoretical physicist who specializes in dark
      matter and dark energy, "this new method has already piqued the
      interest of potential collaborators from major universities and other
      national laboratories. Such collaborations will allow us to extend the
      technique and to apply it to the very latest observational data."

      The new Los Alamos method provides statistical tools for overcoming
      the challenges inherent to incorporating observational datasets and
      results from large-scale simulations that can be processed using
      conventional computing resources. The development of this new
      methodology was brought about by a recent transition in astronomical
      research toward "precision cosmology," which uses increasingly
      sensitive instruments to gather massive amounts of precise data about
      the cosmos. Uniting this new wealth of data with computer simulations
      that have traditionally not had the same levels of precision or
      resolution has been nearly impossible given the current levels of
      computing power and simulation size.

      By combining simulation and observational data, Los Alamos scientists
      believe it will be possible to construct an efficient emulator (a form
      of computer software or hardware that permits the computer to perform
      the functions of a different system) that can be used instead of
      current computer processor-intensive simulations for planning
      astronomical observations and for data analysis.

      Source: Los Alamos National Laboratory

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