Entries with tag astrophysicists.

Researchers Use Computer Models to Study Dark Matter

A team of researchers is using computer simulations to study the hypothetical particle that physicists call dark matter. Dark matter is a hypothesized form of matter particle that doesn’t reflect or emit electromagnetic radiation. Physicists have guessed at its existence based on their observation of gravitational effects on physical matter, such as stars and galaxies. Researchers from the Paris Institute of Astrophysics, Ohio State University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have created detailed computer simulations exploring the density profiles of possible dark-matter voids in more detail than previous studies. The scientists could use the simulations to compare theory and prior simulations with observational data. The researchers published their findings in the journal Physical Review Letters. (American Physical Society)(Physical Review Letters)

Researchers Use a Supercomputer as a Router

Supercomputers are well-known workhorses for science and other projects involving large amounts of data, but researchers are now using a high-performance system as a router. Astronomers worldwide will be able to access the data collected by the Murchison Widefield Array, a 2,000-antenna radio telescope located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia. Astrophysicists from MIT and the Pawsey Center—a supercomputing facility—are using a Cray Cascade supercomputer system—with a performance of 0.3 petaflops now and 1.2 petaflops planned for next year—to help operate the Murchison Widefield Array. The radio telescope generates about 400 megabytes of data per second for delivery to the observatory. The computer helps with tasks such as producing images and redistributing the data for storage. Although the system is still being installed, it was pressed into service 9 June 2013 when the radio telescope went online. (SlashDot -- 1)(SlashDot – 2)(PhysOrg)(International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research)

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