Chinese scientists beat Europe in creating the biggest virtual universe with the world’s fastest computer

People walk through a light installation called “Crystal Universe” on Sunday, April 30, 2017, in Singapore.

Wong Maye-E/AP

Chinese scientists have created the largest virtual universe on Sunway TaihuLight, the world’s fastest computer, according to a lead researcher on the project.

Experts said that China was learning to take full advantage of its raw calculation power, which had outpaced other nations in recent years, and recreating the universe was just the first step.

Researchers hope that within three years the country will be leading the way in making new findings about the birth of the cosmos.

The development of the next generation of high-performance computers will allow researchers to work in tandem with other advanced technological facilities, such as the world’s largest radio telescope, to unlock the secrets of the universe.

By simulating the creation of the universe on Sunway – or its more advanced successors – researchers will be able to single out distant areas of space for the telescope to investigate.

Gao Liang, chair scientist of the computational cosmology group in the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, said they simulated the birth and early expansion of the universe using 10 trillion digital particles.

This project’s scale was five times greater than that of the previous record, which was achieved last month by astrophysicists at the…

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