Scientists have utilized an algorithm based on the increased designs of slime mold. They succeeded in mapping the cosmic web of dark matter and gas that holds the Universe together. The slime mold, technically known as Physarum polycephalum, represents quite the oddity.
But, we shouldn’t underestimate such a weird life form at all. That’s because even if it resembles a gelatinous blob, the brainless organism can solve “spatial problems” that are incredibly puzzled from a computational approach.
New research conducted by Joe Burchett, an astronomer from UC Santa Cruz, scientists discovered P. polycephlum’s exploratory abilities ready to help solve one of the most significant issues in astrophysics.
They also used the work of German artists Sage Jenson’s 2D model and remade it in 3D with extra adjustments. Then, they gave the algorithm a dataset of the coordinate of 37,000 galaxies, and let the slime mold do its job.
Scientists shed more light on dark matter by using slime mold
The organism began by connecting the dots at a celestial scale, proving a virtual, customized remodeling of what the cosmic web might look like.
“We knew where the filaments of the cosmic web should be thanks to the slime mold, so we could go to the archived Hubble spectra for the quasars that probe that space and look for the signatures of the gas,” explained Burchett.
The findings could offer us a whole new method of comprehending the formations of the cosmic web. The fact that a slime mold could support such research, it’s unbelievable. The organism can produce an optimized transport network, spotting the best ways to link food sources.
The galaxies, too, can efficiently serve as “food” sources. As for the 3D map, the algorithm gives is only a contrived simulation. We still don’t have steady evidence of where the cosmic web’s gas filaments or dark matter reside out there in space.