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Physics Colloquium: Computational Cosmology: What can models and simulations teach us about the universe?
Wednesday, Apr 13, 2016
4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Location: SLC 1.102

Dr. Jacob Moldenhauer (University of Dallas)

Cosmology is the study of the universe’s dynamics on the largest scales. Frequently, cosmologists use high-performance computing to model and simulate the universe’s evolution and data sets. The dominant theory to model in cosmology is still based largely on general relativity. While general relativity has confirmed observational support, such as gravitational lensing, it requires that much of the universe’s matter content is non-luminous, or dark matter. Additionally, several cosmological observations suggest the universe’s expansion, described by general relativity, is accelerating. A cosmological constant, Λ, or other form of repulsive dark energy, i.e. negative pressure and negative equation of state, can account for this cosmic acceleration, however, an alternative explanation may involve a modification of general relativity at cosmological distances. There exists many computational modeling programs for simulating and fitting cosmological theories to observations and constraining the model’s free parameters. The Λ Cold Dark Matter model passes most cosmological tests, but new results parameterizing the evolution of the growth of structure in the universe may reveal that there is a new tension, which may not be recoverable for general relativity. We explore computer models and simulations to better understand how dark matter, dark energy, or a modification of general relativity will affect the universe’s dynamics.

Contact Info:
Michael Kesden, 972-883-3598
Questions? Email me.

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