jun 072012


The University of Leicester has been awarded funding to establish a multi-million pound national supercomputer which will make it possible to study space in unprecedented detail and provide new insights into the history of the Universe.

Multi-million pound new national supercomputer to perform astronomical feats

Simulation of a galaxy-wide outflow breaking up to form stars.

It will allow astronomers to address some of the most challenging problems in physics and astronomy -such as What is dark matter? How do stars form? And why do galaxies always have black holes at their centres?”

The University of Leicester has been selected as one of four sites to host national high performance computing (HPC) facilities for theoretical astrophysics and particle physics research. Funding for the new facility was announced in late 2011 by David Willetts as part of the Dept. for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) e-infrastructure budget.

Dr Mark Wilkinson from the Theoretical Astrophysics Group at the University of Leicester is the principal scientist for the project. He said: “This is incredibly exciting news. We will now be able to carry out the largest and most detailed simulations of planets, stars and galaxies that have ever been performed and answer questions that we could not even have asked just a few years ago.”

University of Leicester astronomers are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new facility which will be commissioned over the summer, and will immediately be put to work on some of the most challenging problems in physics and astronomy.

As well as providing new insights into the history of the Universe, this facility will also be used to train the next generation of young researchers in the use of the latest computer technology which is at the core of the UK knowledge economy.

Source: the University of Leicester

Share this post