The behavior of the slime mold was a good way to detect the cosmic web

Astronomers presented
new search algorithm filaments of the cosmic web, which is based on the behavior of slime mold.
Was that a living organism method of finding food
adapted for cosmological tasks. As a result, possible to bypass the main
limitations of alternative computational techniques, write the authors in the journal of The
The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

According to the modern
concepts, large scale structure of the Universe is similar to a three-dimensional network
or foam. It is a large volume with a low density of matter (called voids) are contiguous with filamentous structures (filaments) along which are located
the main share of the substance. The typical size of such structures is of the order of several
megaparsec.

The best way is
the distribution observed in large surveys of galaxies. However big
distances in them are only the brightest objects and their clusters, which,
usually located at the intersection of filaments. However, it is believed,
that a significant proportion of ordinary matter located along filaments in the form
rarefied gas in which no stars or other light sources.

This situation has received
the name of the problem of the missing baryons, as obtained from the theoretical
considerations and analysis of the CMB estimate of the total density of baryons
be significantly higher than can be contained in galaxies and other
entering the related objects. And although there is a separate work, in which
evidence is presented in favor of the detection gas between clusters of galaxies,
a complete solution to this problem yet.

Astronomers from the US and Chile
with the participation of Joseph Burchett (Joseph Burchett) University of California,
in Santa Cruz have created and tested a new numerical algorithm for finding sparse
gas in these reviews, which is inspired by the behavior of the slime mold Physarum
polycephalum. According to the authors, the new approach is able to bypass the two major
limitations of alternative methods: the need to determine density
substances to distances up to several MPC from galaxies, as well as work on
a wide range of scales, from small groups of galaxies to the size of the voids.

Physarum polycephalumhas
complex life cycle in General can be attributed to the acellular
organisms. At one stage he forms one macroscopic cell with
many nuclei — Plasmodium. In this form, the slime mold has a bright yellow color
and can crawl at a speed of several centimetres per hour, and to produce
long processes that form a network to search for food. When food is found, then
the extra branches are retracting, and connecting the current position of the main part
food thickens. In fact, the body thus solves the problem of finding
the shortest path between two points, and does it very well usually
finding a close to optimal solution.

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