Visualizing the Invisible Dark Matter That Makes Up 85% of the Universe

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A list of numbers isn't much to look at but these data visualizations created by researchers at Stanford University are simply gorgeous. This episode of Science Bytes, produced by Kikim Media for PBS and the Public Library of Science, talks to Risa WechslerTom Abel, and Ralf Kaehler, who are working to understand the evolution of the universe. Running numerical simulations to study a 13.5 billion-year period of change, they transform the results into images and movies. Dark matter, which absorbs light, is one phenomenon they've investigated, in addition to the formation of stars and galaxies. "The visualizations make what I do tangible," Wechsler explains. 3-D models give the team an even better sense of what they're looking at; "Actually, I saw all kinds of things in the movie that I hadn't seen before," Wechsler says. Don't miss the images and movies on Kaehler's website, like this visualization of dark matter, and this simulation of the first light in the universe

For more videos from Kikim Media, visit http://www.kikim.com.

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Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

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