Dark Energy and Dark Matter

The death of the universe – Renée Hlozek

Published on Dec 12, 2013

View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-death-o…

The shape, contents and future of the universe are all intricately related. We know that it’s mostly flat; we know that it’s made up of baryonic matter (like stars and planets), but mostly dark matter and dark energy; and we know that it’s expanding constantly, so that all stars will eventually burn out into a cold nothingness. Renée Hlozek expands on the beauty of this dark ending.

Lesson by Renée Hlozek, animation by Giant Animation Studios.


Exploring the dark universe at the speed of petaflops
Nov 21, 2013 by Gail Pieper

This visualization, part of a 1.1-trillion-particle simulation run on Argonne’s supercomputer Mira, shows the complexity of cosmological structure formation.  Image via Phys.org

This visualization, part of a 1.1-trillion-particle simulation run on Argonne’s supercomputer Mira, shows the complexity of cosmological structure formation.
Image via Phys.org

An astonishing 95% of our universe is made of up dark energy and dark matter. Understanding the physics of this sector is the foremost challenge in cosmology today. Sophisticated simulations of the evolution of the universe play a crucial role.

The primary lens through which scientists look at the night sky is no longer only a telescope—it’s also a supercomputer. The new and coming generations of supercomputers will finally be capable of modeling the universe in the detail and volume required by astronomical surveys of the sky that are now underway, or soon will be.

Scientists use large cosmological simulations to test theories about the structure of the universe and the evolution of the distribution of galaxies and clusters of galaxies. State-of-the-art supercomputers let cosmologists make predictions and test them against data from powerful telescopes and space probes. Two decades of surveying the sky have culminated in the celebrated Cosmological Standard Model. Yet two of the model’s key pillars—dark matter and dark energy, together accounting for 95% of the universe—remain mysterious. A research team led by Argonne is tackling this mystery, aided by some of the world’s fastest supercomputers.

Continue Learning: http://phys.org/news/2013-11-exploring-dark-universe-petaflops.html

Dark Matter Reveals the Structure of the Universe

Image via Bigthink.com

Image via Bigthink.com

Physics is both deeply inspiring and deeply humbling, in a way that few other disciplines are today. On the one hand, physicists have found the elusive Higgs boson, the particle responsible for mass. On the other hand, physicists are comparatively clueless when it comes to dark matter, which makes up the vast majority of the Universe.

Comparatively clueless, that is to say, but not completely clueless.

In the video below, Joel Primack, an astrophysicist at the University of California-Santa Cruz, explains that we don’t yet know the real nature of the dark matter “beyond that it’s pretty cold.” Cold refers to the terminology that Primack coined in 1983. Dark matter is either hot, warm or cold “depending on how rapidly it’s moving in the early stages of the Big Bang,” Primack says.

Continue Learning: http://bigthink.com/big-think-tv/dark-matter-reveals-the-structure-of-the-universe?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bigthink%2Fmain+(Big+Think+Main)


Dark matter: The matter we can’t see – James Gillies

Published on May 3, 2013

View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/dark-matter…

The Greeks had a simple and elegant formula for the universe: just earth, fire, wind, and water. Turns out there’s more to it than that — a lot more. Visible matter (and that goes beyond the four Greek elements) comprises only 4% of the universe. CERN scientist James Gillies tells us what accounts for the remaining 96% (dark matter and dark energy) and how we might go about detecting it.

Lesson by James Gillies, animation by TED-Ed.

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