Computer simulation of developing universe

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The Independent Online
The largest computer simulations of the development of our universe from its early infancy to its current state have just been carried out by an international consortium of astronomers (the Virgo Consortium) based at Durham University, writes Tom Wilkie.

The researchers demonstrated that galaxies as we see them today formed by the merging of protogalactic fragments that grew, over billions of years, out of tiny ripples in the energy from the fireball after the Big Bang.

In the computer simulation, the properties of the ripples are fed into a large supercomputer as the 'initial conditions'. A computer program that simulates the growth of these ripples is then executed.