“I make the Universe. Well…maybe not the Universe, but a universe,” explains Dr. Richard G. Bower, professor at Durham University. He’s researching something called observational theoretical cosmology, which involves using a supercomputer, along with the laws of physics and theory of the Big Bang to create a universe that would result from these calculations. He then asks whether or not the simulated universe looks like the Universe we see around us. As a part of this approach, Dr. Bower and his team are teaching computers how gasses collapse to form stars, how these stars produce energy and heat up the gasses around them, and how this process can lead to the formation of black holes. He discusses running theories that explain the nature of dark matter and dark energy, how galaxies are created and what differentiates one from another, how modeling the fabric of spacetime using a combination of quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory might (and might not) explain dark energy, a fascinating art project made possible by this work, the potential to map the Universe in x-rays, and so much more. Tune in and check out https://community.dur.ac.uk/r.
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