Researchers manage to model the first lights of the early universe with shocking accuracy in what is described as a “monumental turning point.”
Billions of years ago, the Big Bang burned up our universe. This massive cosmic catastrophe has turned our world into a rapidly expanding superheat gas bubble; In a matter of nanoseconds, it expanded rapidly, forming a huge gas bubble and heating up to over 100 billion degrees Celsius.
But that was the beginning of a long chain reaction. After this massive explosion, the universe did not immediately take the form we know today. To create all matter, starting with the atoms that make up the present celestial bodies, he had to go through a period of time sometimes referred to as “”.Dark period”.
And there was light
This is similar to a Long cooling phase Lasted several hundred million years; At that time, the universe was Completely black, Because stars capable of illuminating it have not yet formed. Since this theory took shape, many astronomers and physicists have been trying to figure it out How the universe was able to get out of this stench.
Then, under the effect of gravitational forces, huge clouds of gas were compressed; At some point, this pressure proved to be intense enough to put it on fire First generation stars.
But from that moment on, its age is estimated at 13 billion years, and these ancient stars played a decisive role in the sequence of events.reinonization”. The first stars radiated their surroundings to the point To ionize all surrounding materials; This means that they remove electric charges from the atoms, thus creating a vast particle-based universe of chaos.
This had a very definite effect; The hydrogen atoms that were more or less ubiquitous at the time were later replaced Ions Positive charge. This is an absolutely decisive step; She received the poetic nickname “Cosmic dawn“In the scientific literature, this is because of ionization Allowing light to travel to all four corners of the universe.
A gigantic computer model
But this situation and its methods are discussed in the field of science; Today, it is very difficult to say anything definite when working on very distant events. To study this important shift, researchers have relied, as often happens in this discipline System simulations.
The problem is that these are more complex, according to the researchers’ own consent. In fact, re-ionization involves relationships. “Very confusing and complicated”, Between different and different casts such as gravity, gases and radiation – including light. To simulate it correctly, so it is necessary to model these Unique measurements and smooth relationships at time intervals.
For these reasons, only a handful of laboratories in the world have the hardware to make simulations of this size. “Most astronomers do not have access to a laboratory to conduct such experiments. Time and space scales are too largeRahul Kannan, an astronomer affiliated with the University of Cambridge, explains.
More precisely, the university is one of the few institutions that has both the equipment and the brains needed to carry out this kind of big project. This is what Kannan and his colleagues tried to do.
To achieve this, they attempted to combine the three components into a SuperMUC-NG supercomputer. A gigantic machine that doesn’t have much; Researchers estimate that this work may have taken … more 3500 years For a standard computer. An image that illustrates the complexity of the problem.
The team, armed with Behimot, began the calculation by combining the simulation of cosmic dust with the best current model of galaxy formation. Then they introduced a “new method” that “monitors how light interacts with gases”.
Cosmology is a collection of billions of years
It was obviously the right recipe; They succeeded in producing a dubbed model TheesanAccording to Etruscan is the deity of the dawn. This is the first coherent and large-scale simulation of reionization; It reflects the cosmic phenomena that occur in an area 300 million light years For a long time Billions of years. The first lights of the universe were never so close!
Thanks to Desan, researchers were able to visualize the interactions of the early universe with unprecedented amounts of detail, completely unseen to date. A golden opportunity to uncover fascinating details about the properties of the world at that time. In particular, they were able to live in the progressive light of this ebony black universe.
“It’s like water in an ice cube tray”, Explains Aaron Smith, co-author of the study. “This will take time, but after a while the edges will freeze and move to the center of the ice cream”, He explains. “This was also the case in the early universe. It is a dark, neutral universe that ionizes and glows as light begins to emanate from the first galaxies.”.
A tool in the service of the James Webb Telescope
And the most interesting thing is that these attractive films full of influences are not made for fun. Conversely: they act as a very solid working tool. Theson will create a shocking pair with the James Web Space Telescope (JWST), the new love of space that is currently finishing its final productions.
“Many telescopes like JWST are specifically designed to explore this eraKannan explains. “This is where our simulations come in; They help to explain real observations and to understand what we are going to see”, He notes. And stocks are so high: about it Check out the global model based on our understanding of the universe, That’s it!
“And it’s interesting”, Continues his colleague Mark Vokelsberger. “Our simulations are consistent with JWST observations; In this case, it will confirm the relevance of our modeling“, He explains.”Or there may be a significant difference, which shows that our understanding of the early universe is flawed. ! “
But you should not rush; The first answers do not come immediately. We should start by waiting for the final movement of the telescope. It is necessary to wait until he sets his first goals; Currently, NASA still refuses to identify its first object of study, it “Super secret”.
Once this action is taken, each element must be recycled and then integrated into newer models, which can be compared to the Theson. Only then can researchers Finally some answers to this crucial question are available. Suffice it to say that the road is long; But in the meantime, we can always comfort ourselves with such fascinating works and JWST’s most anticipated first films, which will reach us in a few months.