This visualization of the Universe as it condenses around fluctuations in the density of dark and ordinary matter is a result from a collaboration between Argonne National Laboratory and the San Diego Supercomputer Center/University of California, San Diego. In a demonstration at SC09 visualizations of a 4096^3 data volume was streamed from Eureka, the graphics cluster at Argonne, over ESnet, filling a 10Gb/s network link, to an OptiPortal in the SDSC booth on the exhibit floor. The demonstration was part of an effort to establish end-to-end workflows that leverage high-performance computing and visualization resources, high-speed networks, and advanced displays spread across the country.
What am I looking at?
This simulation follows the growth of density perturbations in both gas and dark matter components in a volume 1 billion light years on a side beginning shortly after the Big Bang and evolved to half the present age of the universe. It calculates the gravitational clumping of intergalactic gas and dark matter modeled using a computational grid of 64 billion cells and 64 billion dark matter particles. The simulation uses a computational grid of 4096^3 cells and took over 4,000,000 CPU hours to complete.
The visualization shows the density value, whose range spans over 6 orders of magnitude. The animation of the evolution was made from 148 terabytes of data generated on Kraken at the National Institute for Computational Sciences and transferred to Argonne over ESnet. The rendering was performed on Eureka at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility.
The software behind the visualization is vl3, a hardware-accelerated volume rendering library and application developed at the University of Chicago and Argonne. It was recent developments in vl3 to enable the parallel streaming of visualizations from a rendering cluster to a remote tiled display driven by another cluster that made the SC09 demonstrations possible. Additionally, features currently in development will provide scientists located at the tiled display with remote interactive controls over the visualization. During this effort many enhancements were also made to vl3’s animation generating capabilities, which facilitated the production of animations shown during the demonstration, and made available from the links below.
- Michael L. Norman, San Diego Supercomputer Center/University of California, San Diego
- Robert Harkness, San Diego Supercomputer Center/University of California, San Diego
- Pascal Paschos, San Diego Supercomputer Center/University of California, San Diego
- Rick Wagner, San Diego Supercomputer Center/University of California, San Diego
- Mark Hereld, Argonne National Laboratory
- Joseph A. Insley, Argonne National Laboratory
- Eric C. Olson, University of Chicago
- Michael E. Papka, Argonne National Laboratory
- Eli Dart, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- Kai Doerr, University of California, San Diego
- Brian Dunne, University of California, San Diego
- Susan Hicks, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Tom Hutton, San Diego Supercomputer Center
- Falko Kuester, University of California, San Diego
- Nathaniel Mendoza, National Institute for Computational Sciences
- Larry Smarr, University of California, San Diego
- Loren Jan Wilson, Argonne National Laboratory
- Linda Winkler, Argonne National Laboratory
The simulation was done as part of the 2009 TeraGrid award, “Projects in Astrophysical and Cosmological Structure Formation”, and used resources from the National Institute for Computational Sciences.
The visualization was produced in 2009 with support from TeraGrid, under National Science Foundation Grant OCI-0504086, and used resources of the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility at Argonne National Laboratory, which is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy under contract DE-AC02-06CH11357.
The movie is available for download at several resolutions:
For more information contact us at fl-info [at] mcs [dot] anl [dot] gov.