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Frontiers of Astronomy: Simulating the Universe

Date: Thu. December 14th, 2017, 8:00 pm-9:00 pm
Location: Cleveland Museum of Natural History, 1 Wade Oval Drive, Cleveland, OH 44106

Simulating the Universe

Mark Vogelsberger (MIT)

Modern supercomputer simulations model the evolution of the Universe starting briefly after the Big Bang until today – spanning about 13.7 billion years. These simulations describe correctly the growth, structure, and composition of galaxies. I will give an overview of recent simulation efforts, and demonstrate that the virtual universes are nearly indistinguishable from the real Universe. However, our models are still not perfect and I will also show where simulations disagree with observational data and how we can improve our models to arrive at a better understanding of the evolution of our Universe.
Mark Vogelsberger grew up in Germany, and received his undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Mainz and his Ph.D from the University of Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in 2010, advised by Prof. Simon D.M. White. In 2009 he won the Rudolf Kippenhahn Prize for his thesis work. He was an ITC postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics from 2009-2012, and a Hubble fellow from 2012-2013. In 2014, Dr. Vogelsberger joined the MIT physics faculty as Assistant Professor. In 2016 he won an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship in Physics.
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