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Project GBBP
Research Area Astro Sciences
Principal Investigator(s) Dr. Simon Portegies Zwart
  • Tokyo University, Japan
  • University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Center for Computational Astrophysics, Japan
  • Drexel University, USA
  • University of Edinburgh, School of Mathematics, UK
  • Ludwig-Maximilians Universit√§t M√ľnchen, Germany


Cold dark matter (CDM)[2] is more successful in explaining the structure in the universe than any other cosmological model. Galaxies, according to CDM, accumulate from small clumps of dark matter which grow by subsequent mergers to large galaxies. Each large galaxy is then accompanied by a number of smaller unmerged dark matter clumps in their halos. These small clumps are generally associated with the dwarf galaxies observed in the halos of every major galaxy.
Cosmological simulations of dark-matter halos predict about a thousand dwarf galaxies (see Fig. 2 of [3]), but the Milky-way galaxy has only 24 dwarf galaxies [4]. This problem is known as the missing dwarf-galaxy problem, and it is illustrated in Fig. 1. We propose to perform a large cosmological dark-matter simulation through which we will effectively address this problem.
We plan on running a cold dark-matter N-body simulation of the small cluster of galaxies at extremely high resolution. This calculation is interesting for two main reasons:
1) we will address the substructure of dark matter halos, in particular in relation to the dwarf galaxy problem and
2) the calculation will computational be extremely challenging, since we plan on running concurrently on five of the largest computers on the planet via one of the fastest internet connections.
The results of our simulation will become publicly available via the web page The simulation data will be used for public outreach via the planetarium at Artis (the zoo in Amsterdam), which has expressed interest in using our simulation data for one of their shows.

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