COSMA has been in existence since July 2001 and is now in its 8th generation.
Researchers use the machine – now in its eighth version - to test current theories about the birth of the Universe, the origin of galaxies, dark matter and dark energy.
Hosted by the Institute of Computational Cosmology at Durham University and used by cosmologists, astronomers and particle physicists from across the world, COSMA is immensely powerful which a huge RAM capacity.
This enables scientists to simulate the evolution of the Universe from the Big Bang to the present day with unprecedented accuracy.
COSMA is the Distributed Research utilising Advanced Computing (DiRAC) Memory Intensive system, part of the DiRAC national facility that supports research in cosmology, astrophysics, particle physics and nuclear physics.
COSMA's computational power is behind some of the world’s leading cosmology research projects including The Virgo Consortium for Cosmological Supercomputer Simulations.
Among VIRGO’s research is The EAGLE Project simulation in which realistic galaxies - similar to those observed in the Universe – are created to understand how galaxies form and evolve.
COSMA also supports the work of the Durham Data Intensive Science Centre for Doctoral Training connecting academic research with industry.
COSMA’s recent addition, COSMA8 provides the capabilities to simulate the Universe in much more detail.
COSMA has a memory capacity of 600 terabytes (equivalent to about 40,000 PCs) and more then 20 petabytes of data storage of which 1500 terabytes are superfast, in excess of 200 gigabyte/sec. That's 2,000 times that of a home network!
The COSMA supercomputer supports research across a number of Durham University’s research areas:
Alongside research into fundamental physics, COSMA also supports research that has a positive impact on business and industry.
Working with Dell EMC has helped the Durham University to forge close links across the Dell Technologies family of businesses and given our team significant access to the company's partners and industry peers.
The Durham Data Intensive Science Centre for Doctoral Training (DDIS CDT), a £2m investment by the STFC and Durham University in PhD student training, connects academic research and expertise with industry.
Other COSMA links with business and industry include:
Businesses who wish to use COSMA should contact Professor Adrian Jenkins on email@example.com.
Businesses keen to engage with the DDIS CDT should visit this page.
Simulations produced by COSMA support outreach work designed to engage the public in science.
Galaxy Makers allows people to make their own virtual Universe based upon the simulations of The EAGLE Project. Galaxy Makers is a favourite of the thousands of children and adults who attend Durham University’s annual Celebrate Science festival each year.
EAGLE simulations were also the inspiration for three major art installations– Cosmic Architecture, Cosmoscope and What Matters - at Lumiere Durham, the UK’s largest light festival, which attracted nearly 250,000 visitors in 2017.
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