UCSC: Slime Mold Model Reveals Dark Threads of the Cosmic Web

Find out the latest thinking about our universe.
User avatar
bystander
Apathetic Retiree
Posts: 19557
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma

UCSC: Slime Mold Model Reveals Dark Threads of the Cosmic Web

Post by bystander » Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:13 pm

Slime Mold Model Reveals Dark Threads of the Cosmic Web
University of California, Santa Cruz | 2020 Mar 10

The problem-solving prowess of a simple slime mold has been harnessed to trace the large-scale structure of the universe

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Dark Threads of the Cosmic Web Revealed (UCSC)
A computational approach inspired by the growth patterns of a bright yellow slime mold has enabled a team of astronomers and computer scientists at UC Santa Cruz to trace the filaments of the cosmic web that connects galaxies throughout the universe.

Their results ... provide the first conclusive association between the diffuse gas in the space between galaxies and the large-scale structure of the cosmic web predicted by cosmological theory.

According to the prevailing theory, as the universe evolved after the big bang, matter became distributed in a web-like network of interconnected filaments separated by huge voids. Luminous galaxies full of stars and planets formed at the intersections and densest regions of the filaments where matter is most concentrated. The filaments of diffuse hydrogen gas extending between the galaxies are largely invisible, although astronomers have managed to glimpse parts of them.

None of which seems to have anything to do with a lowly slime mold called Physarum polycephalum, typically found growing on decaying logs and leaf litter on the forest floor and sometimes forming spongy yellow masses on lawns. But Physarum has a long history of surprising scientists with its ability to create optimal distribution networks and solve computationally difficult spatial organization problems. ...

Slime Mold Simulations Used to Map Dark Matter Holding Universe Together
NASA | GSFC | STScI | HubbleSite | 2020 Mar 10

Astronomers Use Slime Mould to Map the Universe’s Largest Structures
ESA Hubble Science Release | 2020 Mar 10

Revealing the Dark Threads of the Cosmic Web ~ Joseph N. Burchett et al
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

User avatar
neufer
Vacationer at Tralfamadore
Posts: 16915
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 1:57 pm
Location: Alexandria, Virginia

Re: UCSC: Slime Mold Model Reveals Dark Threads of the Cosmic Web

Post by neufer » Wed Mar 11, 2020 8:18 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
Art Neuendorffer