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Jeweled Net of the Vast Invisible: An Experience of Dark Matter

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Jew­eled Net of the Vast Invisible 
An immer­sive sound and video installation 
Video Pro­duc­tion Stu­dios, Dud­er­stadt Center 
April 8, 9, and 102014 
Noon to 7:30 pm each day

Jew­eled Net of the Vast Invis­i­ble, an Art and Sci­ence col­lab­o­ra­tion funded by the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan MCubed seed grant pro­gram, will run April 8 — 10 at the Dud­er­stadt Video Pro­duc­tion Stu­dios. The team is com­prised of Greg Tarle (Depart­ment of Physics) Steve Rush (School of Music, The­atre and Dance), Jim Cogswell (Stamps School of Art and Design), Brian Nord (Fer­mi­lab) along with grad­u­ate stu­dents Jason Eaton (Com­puter Sci­ence) and Simon Alexan­der-Adams (Music, The­ater, and Dance). Jew­eled Net is a visu­al­iza­tion of the dis­tri­b­u­tion of dark mat­ter in the uni­verse, based on data from a mas­sive bil­lion-par­ti­cle com­puter sim­u­la­tion. As we travel through this space we see struc­tures — halos, voids and fil­a­ments, which owe their exis­tence to minute quan­tum fluc­tu­a­tions when the uni­verse was first launched. These struc­tures, ampli­fied by infla­tion, prop­a­gated by sound and inten­si­fied by grav­ity, formed the invis­i­ble net that cap­tured the mat­ter that made up the first stars, galax­ies and galaxy clus­ters, the jew­els” that we see as we look out on the uni­verse today. Heavy ele­ments forged in these stars became the raw ingre­di­ents from which our sun, our planet and life came about. We are chil­dren of the stars, lit­er­ally, made of star­dust cre­ated and ejected into the inter­stel­lar medium many bil­lions of years ago. And yet this net of dark mat­ter is invis­i­ble to the eye. Its exis­tence can only be inferred by study­ing the galax­ies and stars that dec­o­rate this vast invis­i­ble net. Sci­en­tists see this beauty and stand in awe of the grandeur of our uni­verse. The instal­la­tion at the Dud­er­stadt Cen­ter will fea­ture a con­tin­u­ously run­ning multi-chan­nel video pro­jec­tion. A twenty-foot high, 180-degree panorama and acoustic envi­ron­ment will immerse the viewer in the vast jew­eled spaces and sonic struc­tures derived from the bil­lions of data points sim­u­lat­ing the dis­tri­b­u­tion of dark mat­ter. This MCubed team was formed in the hope that through art we could bring the awe­some won­der that sci­en­tists expe­ri­ence in their study of our uni­verse to a broader group of peo­ple. To make the invis­i­ble both vis­i­ble and audi­ble to our senses.