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XSEDE Powers Research into Dark Matter

darkmatter1Researchers are using XSEDE supercomputer resources to advance a new model for explaining dark matter in the universe.

Astrophysicists believe that approximately 80 percent of the universe is made up of mysterious “dark matter” that can’t be perceived by human senses or scientific instruments.

Dark matter has not yet been detected in a lab. We infer about it from astronomical observations,” said Mikhail Medvedev, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas, who has just published breakthrough research on dark matter that merited the cover of Physical Review Letters, the world’s most prestigious journal of physics research.

Medvedev proposes a novel model of dark matter, dubbed “flavor-mixed multicomponent dark matter.” He compared flavor-mixing to white light that contains several colors and can generate a rainbow.  “If white was a particular flavor, then red, green and blue would be different masses — masses one, two and three — that mix up together to create white,” he said. “By changing proportions of red, green and blue in the mix, one can make different colors, or flavors, other than white.” Medvedev said that dark matter candidates are also theorized to be flavor-mixed — such as neutralinos, axions and sterile neutrinos.

Mikhail Medvedev, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas

Mikhail Medvedev, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Kansas

Medvedev included the physics process of quantum evaporation in a “cosmological numerical code” and performed simulations using supercomputers.

Each simulation utilized over a 1,000 cores and ran for a week or so,” he said. “This yearlong project consumed about 2 million computer hours in total, which is equal to 230 years.”

Medvedev performed the simulations using XSEDE high-performance computation facilities, primarily Trestles at the San Diego Supercomputer Center and Ranger at the Texas Advanced Computing Center.

Editor’s note: If you interested in this topic, I highly recommend the book, Dark Matter, Dark Energy, Dark Gravity: Enabling a Universe that Supports Intelligent Life, by Dr. Stephen Perrenod. You can read the Foreword to the book written by Rich Brueckner here at insideHPC.

 

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