Computational Modelling Group

Lattice Holographic Cosmology

2nd October 2017
Research Team
Matthew Mostert
Andreas Juttner

The cosmic microwave background (CMB) as imaged by the ESA Planck telescope in March 2013. The image shows temperature fluctuations in the earliest light released by the universe after the big bang.

One of the most widely accepted theories of modern cosmology is that shortly after the Big Bang (approximately 10^-32 seconds) , the universe underwent a period of rapid expansion called: Inflation. This phase of inflation has been used to explain a wide number of observations of the universe that were previously very troubling, such as it's flatness, isotropy, and structure formation.

The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is a result of the structure formation of the universe which was most recently observed by the Planck space observatory. The CMB reveals small fluctuations, of the order of micro-Kelvin in the temperature of the early universe.

Though inflation is considered a paradigm of cosmology, we do not yet have a fundamental understanding of the driving mechanism of inflation. It is expected that this can be derived from an as of yet unknown particle physics theory that would likely incorporate gravity and new concepts of quantum field theory (QFT).

This project will be founded on the idea that the dynamics driving inflation can be computed in terms of its' holographic dual: a three dimensional QFT, which can be determined from first principles using numerical solutions.

The ultimate goal is to make predictions for the power spectrum and non-gaussianties of the CMB which would then be falsifiable by comparison to the Planck and WMAP data.

This project will also aim to develop new theoretical field methods and massively parallel computational algorithms to be utilised on both new computational architectures (e.g. Intel Xeon Phi) and existing high performance computers (HPCs).


Physical Systems and Engineering simulation: Astrophysics, Cosmology, General Relativity, QCD, QFT, Quantum Dynamics

Algorithms and computational methods: Lattice Field Theory

Programming languages and libraries: Python

Computational platforms: Mac OS X, Xeon Phi

Transdisciplinary tags: Computer Science, HPC, NGCM