"Hacking the Universe"--Stephen Hawking Launches the Cosmos Supercomputer
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July 23, 2012

"Hacking the Universe"--Stephen Hawking Launches the Cosmos Supercomputer

 

             Shutterstock_93977536

 

Stephen Hawking has launched the most powerful shared-memory supercomputer in Europe, the COSMOS supercomputer, manufactured by SGI and the first system of its kind. Hawking says will open up new windows on the universe.

During the launch, which is part of the Numerical Cosmology 2012 workshop at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge, Hawking said, “We have made spectacular advances in cosmology and particle physics recently.” “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."

The COSMOS supercomputer is part of the Science and Technology Facilities Council DiRAC High Performance Computing facility, a national service for UK cosmologists, astronomers and particle physicists, as well as non-academic users.

Hawking added, “I hope that we will soon find an ultimate theory which, in principle, would enable us to predict everything in the universe.” “However, participants at this workshop will be pleased to learn that this will not end our quest for a complete understanding,” he said. “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.”

The COSMOS consortium’s current programme of research aims to advance understanding of the origin the universe, primarily through the exploitation of the cosmic microwave sky.

 

                    Stephen-Hawking-70-007

The Daily Galaxy via http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/cosmos/legacy/Public/press_launch.html

Image credit: Courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Hawking image: With thanks to David Parry/PA

Comments

Computer simulations are not capable of processing the most relevant parameter when it comes to creating a simulation of the universe and that is creative intervention. In the future human beings have the potential to redistribute and reshape matter on a galactic scale; We are already beginning to redistribute and reshape matter in our solar system. How do we know that something much bigger than our selves is not already doing this but on a universal scale.

Maybe Hawking's is from the 5th dimension? :)

Lee,

This could very well be true, however, there is absolutely no reason to assume it is true without evidence, so there is no reason to take it into consideration.

There might be giant space frogs hopping around eating planets like they were bugs and screwing up all of our computer simulations, but until some evidence is presented to show indeed giant space frogs exist and evidence that they do eat planets like bugs, there is no reason to take them into consideration.

Same with your comment. First you need to supply evidence that some intelligent 'something' that is bigger than us actually exist, then you need to show that this 'something' is actually redistributing and reshaping matter. Until you do, your concerns are meaningless.

Possibilities are endless, probabilities occupy a much smaller group. It makes much more sense to factor in probabilities rather than possibilities.

things are always simpler than some believe. About computers they are stupid , just following a number of rows of instructions. If the one creating them is narrowminded, all the results will be wrong. If he is a genius, the results will still be in the same point of view as the software creator. Even the best computer of our days is having ZERO intelligence.

@Frank
I get the impression that you think that I was referring to god and I fear I may have hit a atheist nerve, I'm sorry. The fact that we are able to think of this subject and draw our own opinions upon this article proves that creative intent already exists in the Universe. Lets postulate that we as creative human beings with the ability to build our own technology propagate outside the limits of our solar system and into the galactic realm. As our civilization develops the planets, moons, and asteroids throughout the many star systems the matter contained within them will be redistributed and reshaped to suite our needs. The Universe in its present form with creative intervention (human beings) is evolving into a more complex state that would otherwise be impossible without it. Again I ask, How does a computer simulation compute this?
The logic in this comes from thought and will always be illusive to even a super duper computer.

Dont worry Lee
There are some people here that think people are not allowed to think for them selves. If you dont go with the (m)asses they feel threatened or something. They are fun to pick on and when they get mad its even funnier. Most are OK though.

@Lee I enjoy hurfing and blurfing about atheism as much as the next guy, but I didn't personally read into your original comment the implication of a god, I thought of advanced civilisations working on megastructure projects.

Frank's comment holds true. Until we have something to suggest that megastructure projects are going on (this includes if we start doing them ourselves) it's pointless to assume that they are and dismiss these calculations as worthless because they don't account for their effects.

The good news is that the COSMOS supercomputer is exactly the sort of equipment which would give us an indication that maybe these putative projects you're concerned about might be going on now. There'd basically be a huge problem in the math which would indicate that either physics is for some reason broken in some areas of space or that someone's doing something weird that means our observations don't match our predictions.

The cool part is that if indeed there does turn out to be such a huge disparity between the model and the observations we've now got a solid goal to check out, to work out why things didn't work as expected. Who knows, it might lead to the discovery of aliens.

But until there's evidence it's best to withhold judgement and go with what we know, and correct ourselves later.

The BIG NOTHING wanted to see what it is like to be something so it created us, we are all part of the big nothing © 2000 Dieter Benischke (seeking the absolute)

http://beingtrulyhuman.org/talks#


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