Physicist extraordinaire Stephen Hawking has been given a new supercomputer by his university.
"COSMOS" is installed at the University of Cambridge's Distributed Research utilizing Advanced Computing (DiRAC) facility and will be focused at computations that "advance our understanding of the origin and structure of our universe."
The system integrates 1,856 Xeon E5 Sandy Bridge processing cores as well as 14.5 TB globally shared memory. The university said that COSMOS will be upgraded at a later point in time with 31 Xeon Phi coprocessors. The SGI UV2000 cluster is already Europe's largest share memory system.
“We have made spectacular advances in cosmology and particle physics recently," Hawking said in a prepared statement. "Cosmology is now a precision science, so we need machines like COSMOS to reach out and touch the real universe, to investigate whether our mathematical models are correct."
Hawking noted that he hopes that "we will soon find an ultimate theory which, in principle, would enable us to predict everything in the Universe." Supercomputers like COSMOS are necessary to "describe how something as big and complex as the Universe evolves, let alone why humans behave the way they do!”