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Thread: Usage of a chart for the interaction of mass in a computer simulation?

  1. #1 Usage of a chart for the interaction of mass in a computer simulation? 
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    Some time ago I saw a program about the composition of the universe (dark energy, dark matter etc.). The program showed an interview with a scientist who represented a group of scientists who studied the composition of the universe and the expansion of matter from a central point(big bang theory). They made a computer simulation that showed the expansion of matter as small points of light. They did this to show that the unknown force known as dark energy was needed for the existence of a stable universe. The simulation simply showed matter as tiny points, but what if we wanted to make a simulation that showed all the complex interactions of atoms and molecules in the universe?? Has this already been done? I thought that maybe if we were to implement a digital chart containing the properties of atoms and molecules we might be able to create a simulation capable of this. It might even go as far as to creating the amino acids that make up life. All of this might sound quite farfetched and I'm no scientist(yet), I'm still in school . I'd be really glad to spark some discussion and hear some answers!! (also I don't if this is the right place to post this, it seemed the most logical place on the forum though.) PS: I have to add that this simulation would be based around a large source of hydrogen being ejected in all directions from a single point(Big Bang). This hydrogen base would later start to form into the atoms we all know today by nuclear fusion. We would have to insert the laws of physics we know and implement this chart of the interaction of atoms and their elektrons.

    Thanks already,

    Last edited by Nander; April 1st, 2012 at 12:59 PM.
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  3. #2  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    The problem is the scale of the problem. It presumably took many hours on a supercomputer to run their simple model of the universe with points for matter (presumably each point was a whole galaxy or even galaxy cluster).

    At the other end, it can take many hours of supercomputer time to simulate the behaviour of single molecule accurately (e.g. to study how proteins fold). Even then various approximations and short-cuts are used.

    So to simulate the entire universe at the level of atoms would be an impossibly huge task. And to do it at the level of subatomic particles, even more so.

    I have to add that this simulation would be based around a large source of hydrogen being ejected in all directions from a single point(Big Bang).
    That is not a good description of the big bang. But perhaps that needs a thread of its own!

    Nander likes this.
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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  4. #3  
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    I thought that processing power would be the main problem for a simulation of this scale. But time has shown that the processing power that computers are capable of is doubling almost every year. Although it's probably not a realistic prospect yet, we don't know what computers will be capable of in the future.

    (e.g. to study how proteins fold)
    These kinds of complex processes would have to be incredibly difficult to simulate.

    Thanks a lot for replying to my thread! (sorry i replied this late, I went on a snowboarding trip)
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  5. #4  
    Forum Professor wallaby's Avatar
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    You may be interested in this Millennium Run, as an example of simulations of large scale.
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