Cosmic Web

Science Behind the Image

Science is entering the era of precision cosmology, where it is becoming possible to measure cosmological parameters with less than 1% error. Large numerical simulations are used to model the main physical processes to establish a 'standard ruler' with which to measure universal phenomena. The mysterious Dark Energy component of the Universe is of particular interest, as it accounts for more than 70% of known energy density ― it is responsible for causing cosmic expansion to accelerate, and yet its nature is still completely unknown.

Visualization Behind the Image

The visualization was completed in VisIt using both point plots and direct volume ray casting to show the particle field and particle density. This visualization shows particle density from a 3072^3 (29 billion particle) N‐body simulation of dark matter in a computational volume of (1/h Gpc)^3 (100 billion cubic light years) on a computational grid of 6144^3 cells and force softening length of 16/h kpc (74 thousand light years), evolved to the present epoch (z=0).



Paul A. Navratil

University of Sussex

Ilian T. Iliev

UT Austin

Paul R. Shapiro

University of Zürich, Switzerland

Vincent Desjacques
Robert Smith

University of Toronto, Canada

Ue-Li Pen


TeraGrid 2009 Visualization Showcase Feature


Funding provided by the National Science Foundation TeraGrid initiative and a National Science Foundation RAPID Grant, Office of Cyberinfrastructure. Also, the Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate through the Center of Excellence for Natural Disasters, Coastal Infrastructure and Emergency Management.