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Scientists create Illustris TNG, the most advanced computer simulated model of Universe

Scientists across the world have repeatedly been trying to figure the best possible model of Universe. Recently, a group of astrophysicists has managed to design the most advanced model of Universe till date. Using a bunch of cutting-edge computational methods they have managed to create the most information-packed universe-scale simulation ever produced. Through this advanced modeling of the Universe, one can get valuable information about the influence of black holes on the dark matter distribution, how heavy elements are produced and spread throughout the cosmos and also the origin of the magnetic fields. He the newly developed and programmed universe simulation model is dubbed as Illustris TNG.

The latest research was led by principal investigator Volker Springel at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies. He was joined by astrophysicists from the Max Planck Institutes for Astronomy (MPIA, Heidelberg) and Astrophysics (MPA, Garching), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, and the Flatiron Institute’s Center for Computational Astrophysics (CCA) to devise the simulated model of the Universe. Shy Genel, an associate research scientist at CCA considers the model as the most advanced universe simulation of its kind. Genel said that computer simulations give a much broader idea of Universe as compared to the telescopes. “When we observe galaxies using a telescope, we can only measure certain quantities. With the simulation, we can track all the properties for all these galaxies. And not just how the galaxy looks now, but its entire formation history,” said Genel. One can study how galaxies are formed evolved and grown in parallel with their star-formation activity.

According to Genel, watching galaxy formation through simulations might help scientists get a glimpse of how our Milky Way galaxy looked like when the Earth was formed and how the galaxy would change in future. Mark Vogelsberger, an assistant professor of physics at MIT and the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research has been using the Illustris TNG to study the powerful and large-scale magnetic fields distributed throughout the Universe. Vogelsberger said, “The high resolution of IllustrisTNG combined with its sophisticated galaxy formation model allowed us to explore these questions of magnetic fields in more detail than with any previous cosmological simulations.” The Illustris TNG is the upgraded version of original Illustris simulation created by the same research team.

The advanced simulated version of the Universe takes into account some crucial physical processes that played a major role in the formation and evolution of Galaxies. For the Illustris TNG project, the scientists prepared a powerful version of AREPO, a highly parallel moving-mesh code and inserted it in the Hazel Hen machine. For commuting one of the two main simulation runs, the research team employed more than 24,000 processors over the course of more than two months. Springel said that lllustrisTNG is the largest hydrodynamic simulation project to date for the emergence of cosmic structures.

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