A team of astronomers is claiming to have achieved this impressive feat using a computer simulation called "Illustris," which took five years to program and, for the first time, can recreate the evolution of the Universe in high fidelity.
Whereas using the average desktop PC to carry out the calculations required to simulate everything from the expansion of the Universe, the gravitational pull of matter onto itself, the motion or "hydrodynamics" of cosmic gas, as well as the formation of stars and black holes would have taken more than 2,000 years, the project, which was a collaboration involving researchers from several institutions, used a total of 8,000 CPUs running in parallel to cut the required "run time" to three months.
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