4,000 virtual universes can solve Big Bang mystery


Armed with a supercomputer, scientists, searching for answers to questions related to the Big Bang, created 4,000 virtual versions of the Universe to understand what led, in less than a microsecond, everything we know (and don’t know) to expand to a dimension 1 trillion trillion times the size originally occupied by all matter (and antimatter) scattered around.

The setback applied by the team uses a method used in simulations and real observations that reveal the density variations found in space, with some spots rich in galaxies and others relatively arid.

The expectation, says the team, is that a precise understanding of what this inflationary period was like would be reached.

A promising hypothesis for this unequal distribution of visible matter, explains study leader Masato Shirasaki, a cosmologist at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (OANJ), that at the time of the Great Expansion, there were already quantum or random fluctuations – temporary energy changes present even in the tiny primordial universe.

When everything expanded, he adds, these fluctuations would have expanded as well, with denser points extending to regions of greater density than their surroundings. Gravitational forces would have interacted with these stretched strands, causing galaxies to cluster along them.

“We are trying to do something like guessing a baby picture of our universe from the most recent image,” exemplifies Masato for Live Science.

Looking to the past

First of all, due to the complexity of gravitational interactions, it is necessary to remove fluctuations from the equation if the goal is to go back to the beginning of time, or at least increase the chances of seeing it. Performing this task is far from simple.

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However, the group created an approach to circumvent the obstacle and needed to test it in some way. Thus, they found at ATERUI II, the OANJ supermachine, quite an ally. With it, they gave birth to thousands of virtual universes, all with slightly different initial density fluctuations and with their own inflations.

After that, detail those responsible for the project, they applied the reconstruction method developed to these universes to see if the action could reconfigure the fictional regions and leave them as at their starting points. According to Shirasaki, the desired information was extracted efficiently


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