Free Screening of "Seeing the Beginning of Time" October 24 at NCSA!

Siv Schwink
10/23/2017

Still pulled from sequence, 'Stars from the First Supernovae (with Cosmic Bubble Bath intro).' Credits,  Britton Smith, University of Edinburgh; John Wise, Georgia Institute of Technology; Brian O'Shea, Michigan State University; Michael Norman, University of California San Diego; Sadegh Khochfar, University of Edinburgh. Image courtesy of National Center for Supercomputing Applications.
Still pulled from sequence, 'Stars from the First Supernovae (with Cosmic Bubble Bath intro).' Credits, Britton Smith, University of Edinburgh; John Wise, Georgia Institute of Technology; Brian O'Shea, Michigan State University; Michael Norman, University of California San Diego; Sadegh Khochfar, University of Edinburgh. Image courtesy of National Center for Supercomputing Applications.
Scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign working in dark matter research have gotten together and planned a celebration of Dark Matter Day (October 31), just a few days early. A free screening of the visually stunning documentary, Seeing the Beginning of Time, will take place at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) on October 24, 2017, at 7 p.m., followed by a Q&A session with a panel of experts. This event is open to all, though seating is limited.

Seeing the Beginning of Time is a 50-minute visually stunning journey through deep space and time, co-produced by the NCSA, and Thomas Lucas Productions. The trailer is viewable on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=5P0vfe5dC5A.

Donna Cox, director of NCSA’s Advanced Visualization Laboratory (AVL) leads the CADENS project to help raise public awareness about computational scientific discovery.“The AVL team members developed state-of-the-art technologies and used NCSA’s Blue Waters supercomputer to create cinematic production-quality data visualizations showcasing hundreds of millions of years of galactic evolution,” says Donna Cox. “We collaborated with numerous science teams and were deeply involved in the co-production of the film.”

Still pulled from sequence, 'Cosmic Bubble Bath: How the First Galaxies Reinize the Universe.' Credits, Michael Norman, Pengfei Chen, and Hao Xu, UC San Diego; Daniel Reynolds, Southern Methodist U.; John Wise, Georgia Tech. Image courtesy of National Center for Supercomputing Applications.
Still pulled from sequence, 'Cosmic Bubble Bath: How the First Galaxies Reinize the Universe.' Credits, Michael Norman, Pengfei Chen, and Hao Xu, UC San Diego; Daniel Reynolds, Southern Methodist U.; John Wise, Georgia Tech. Image courtesy of National Center for Supercomputing Applications.
The documentary features NCSA Research Scientist and Astronomy Research Professor Felipe Menanteau and his colleagues from the Dark Energy Survey (DES), an international collaboration dedicated to charting the expansion of our universe. NCSA, along with Fermilab and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory are the founding institutions for the Dark Energy Survey. Menanteau and colleagues are using light from distant galaxies to study the distribution of matter in the universe. “When we are looking deep into space, we are essentially looking back in time. We are using the light of distant galaxies to trace the influence of mysterious unseen forces such as dark matter and dark energy to look for clues to what they are,” said Menanteau.

NCSA leads data management for the DES project, receiving large volumes of observations over high-speed networks from the telescope in Chile and using the Blue Waters supercomputer and Illinois Campus Cluster Program to review, process and release the data products, with the first public release scheduled for December 2017. The DES project is a pathfinder for the next generation of surveys, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST).

Still pulled from sequence, 'First Light in the Renaissance Simulations: Formation of the Very First Galaxies in the Universe.' Credits, Michael Norman & Hao Xu, UC San Diego; Brian O'Shea, Michigan State U.; John Wise, Georgia Tech; Kyungjin Ahn, Chosun U. Image courtesy of National Center for Supercomputing Applications.
Still pulled from sequence, 'First Light in the Renaissance Simulations: Formation of the Very First Galaxies in the Universe.' Credits, Michael Norman & Hao Xu, UC San Diego; Brian O'Shea, Michigan State U.; John Wise, Georgia Tech; Kyungjin Ahn, Chosun U. Image courtesy of National Center for Supercomputing Applications.
“Astronomers are forging giant new lenses and mirrors, while marshaling vast computational power,” says Thomas Lucas, veteran science producer and CADENS co-investigator. “These technologies are at the center of a historic quest: to peer into the deep recesses of time, to find out how the universe set the stage for galaxies and worlds like ours in an era known as the Cosmic Dawn.”

Currently under construction in Chile, the LSST telescope will rapidly survey the entire night sky every two weeks with a field of view almost 40 times the size of the full moon. These large scale cosmic surveys can be shared across the world and will revolutionize astronomy.

This special screening will take place in room 1122 at NCSA, located at 1205 W. Clark St. in Urbana.

This event is co-sponsored by the U of I Department of Physics and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. All are welcome, seating is limited.

Recent News

  • Accolades
  • Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

Assistant Professor Bryce Gadway of the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has been selected for the 2017 U.S. Air Force Young Investigator Research Program. Gadway is among 43 early-career scientists and engineers nationwide to receive this three-year award of $450,000. U.S. Air Force Young Investigators are selected based on demonstrated exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research in scientific and engineering areas identified as strategic to the US Air Force mission.

  • In the Media

A company founded by a University of Illinois physics professor has raised more than $1.5 million in venture funding this year, graduated from the UI Research Park's EnterpriseWorks incubator and this week announced it was selected for a project by NASA.

At its new 12,000-square-foot facility on Kenyon Road near Interstate 74 in Champaign, Inprentus manufactures diffraction gratings, an advanced prism of sorts used in laboratories around the world.

The company was founded by Peter Abbamonte in 2012.

  • Outreach

Because physics has its dark mysteries too, we have appropriated Halloween! Watch our Dark Matter Day video on our YouTube channel!

Watch the short video Dark Matter and hear leading-edge scientists explain what we know about one of the greatest mysteries of our time. What could it be? How do we know it’s there? And what ingenious methods are scientists, working in different subdisciplines of physics and astronomy around the globe, using to detect dark matter?

Astrophysicist Jeff Filippini, astronomer Felipe Menanteau, experimental nuclear physicist Liang Yang, theoretical particle physicist Jessie Shelton, and experimental particle physicist Ben Hooberman provide an accessible overview of some of the most exciting scientific research that is ongoing today.

This educational outreach video was produced by the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, under the direction of U of I Public Affairs Video Services.