“Hacking the Universe”–Stephen Hawking Launches the Cosmos Supercomputer

 

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Stephen Hawking has launched the most powerful shared-memory supercomputer in Europe, the COSMOS supercomputer, manufactured by SGI and the first system of its kind. Hawking says will open up new windows on the universe.


During the launch, which is part of the Numerical Cosmology 2012 workshop at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge, Hawking said, “We have made spectacular advances in cosmology and particle physics recently.” “Cosmology is now a precision science, so we need machines like COSMOS to reach out and touch the real universe, to investigate whether our mathematical models are correct."

The COSMOS supercomputer is part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council DiRAC High Performance Computing facility, a national service for UK cosmologists, astronomers and particle physicists, as well as non-academic users.

Hawking added, “I hope that we will soon find an ultimate theory which, in principle, would enable us to predict everything in the universe.” “However, participants at this workshop will be pleased to learn that this will not end our quest for a complete understanding,” he said. “Even if we do find the ultimate theory, we will still need supercomputers to describe how something as big and complex as the universe evolves, let alone why humans behave the way they do.”

The COSMOS consortium’s current programme of research aims to advance understanding of the origin the universe, primarily through the exploitation of the cosmic microwave sky.

 

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The Daily Galaxy via http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/cosmos/legacy/Public/press_launch.html

Image credit: Courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Hawking image: With thanks to David Parry/PA

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