Hawking Launches Supercomputer

University of Cambridge (07/20/12)

Stephen Hawking launched Europe’s most powerful shared-memory supercomputer during the recent Numerical Cosmology 2012 workshop at the University of Cambridge’s Center for Mathematical Sciences.  SGI manufactured the COSMOS supercomputer, which will help expand understanding of the universe.  “Cosmology is now a precision science, so we need machines like COSMOS to reach out and touch the real universe, to investigate whether our mathematical models are correct,” Hawking says.  He notes that significant advances have been recently made in cosmology and particle physics, pointing out that finding an ultimate theory in principle would enable researchers to predict everything in the universe.  “Even if we do find the ultimate theory, we will still need supercomputers to describe how something as big and complex as the universe evolves, let alone why humans behave the way they do,” Hawking says.  COSMOS is part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council DiRAC High Performance Computing facility, which serves Britain’s cosmologists, astronomers, and particle physicists, as well as non-academic users.  The current research program of the COSMOS consortium focuses on advancing understanding of the origin and structure of the universe.

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