Priya Natarajan

My interest lies in exploring computer simulations as extremely potent tools that share some similarities with experiments, theory and models, but are an independent epistemic tool. In fact, cosmological N-body simulations have played a very significant role in the establishment and acceptance of the current paradigm that best describes the growth and evolution of structure formation in the Universe: the LCDM (Lambda Cold Dark Matter) concordance model. By enabling detailed comparisons of theoretical model predictions with observations, simulations have not only refined and developed pre-existing theoretical models but have in fact engendered a new way to create and represent models.  What is salient about this novel way to create viable models is that the validation and verification of a given model is clearly articulated, enabling clear discrimination between competing theories.  I plan to study in detail the evolution of simulations and the transformations that it produced in tandem with growing observational data on the nature of cosmological theories.

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