Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Using supercomputers to probe the early universe

Los Alamos researchers developed a computer code, called BURST, that can simulate a slice in the life of our young cosmos.
June 5, 2016
Artist’s depiction of the WMAP satellite gathering data to understand the Big Bang. Source: NASA.

Artist’s depiction of the WMAP satellite gathering data to understand the Big Bang. Source: NASA.

Using supercomputers to probe the early universe

by Elena E. Giorgi

For decades physicists have been trying to decipher the first moments after the Big Bang. Using very large telescopes, for example, scientists scan the skies and look at how fast galaxies move. Satellites study the relic radiation left from the Big Bang, called the cosmic microwave background radiation. And finally, particle colliders, like the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, allow researchers to smash protons together and analyze the debris left behind by such collisions.

Physicists at Los Alamos National Laboratory, however, are taking a different approach: they are using computers. In collaboration with colleagues at University of California San Diego, the Los Alamos researchers developed a computer code, called BURST, that can simulate a slice in the life of our young cosmos.

This article was first published in HuffPost Science.


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