Telescopes are getting bigger and better, allowing us to map the observable Universe over almost its entire 14 billion year history. With the vast amount of data now being collected, we are trying to piece together the puzzle of how galaxies were made and how they grow and develop. However, one problem we face is that galaxies change very slowly, on timescales of tens to hundreds of millions of years.
So how do we convince ourselves that our understanding of the Universe is accurate? In this talk, Scott Kay will show you that vital insight can be gained using computer simulations. By combining our understanding of basic physics with powerful supercomputers, we are able to construct virtual universes that are becoming increasingly realistic. And, as we don't have to do this in real time, we can make movies to study how individual galaxies form and change over the history of the universe.