Computer reconstruction of cosmic history
Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Garching, Germany
Over the last 40 years computer power has increased billion-fold, enabling ever more detailed recreation of cosmic evolution. This has provided insight into the material content of our Universe, the formation of the galaxies, and the emergence of the intricate, web-like structure we see around us today. Such simulations have shown that most cosmic matter is of a kind unknown on Earth, and that all structure grew from weak sound waves in the hot, near-uniform plasma which emerged from the Big Bang.
About the speaker: Simon White is a theoretical astrophysicist who works on various aspects of cosmological structure formation, and whose research has been fundamental in the establishment of the standard model of cosmology – the LCDM model. During his career, Simon White has made crucial contributions to our understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies, the detailed internal structure of dark matter halos, the spatial distribution of galaxies and clusters in the Universe, as well as to the role of supercomputer simulations in astronomy and cosmology.
Simon White is a director of the Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany. He has received multiple awards for his research, among them the 2006 Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, the 2011 Gruber Prize in Cosmology, and the 2017 Shaw Prize in Astronomy.