"Physarum polycephalum" by HelenGinger / CC BY-SA 3.0

Slime Mould Has Been Used to Recreate The Invisible Web Holding Our Universe Together

Mar 11, 2020

By Peter Dockrill

Astronomers have used an algorithm based on the growth patterns of slime mould to map something that’s basically impossible to see: the cosmic web of gas and dark matter underpinning the very structure of the Universe.

Slime mould (Physarum polycephalum) is one of the weirdest life forms on the planet, but we shouldn’t underestimate these strange, gelatinous blobs.

That’s because, despite appearances, this brainless organism – or rather the way it grows outward in branching networks of slimy tendrils – is capable of ‘solving’ spatial problems that are actually incredibly complex from a computational perspective.

In the past, models based on P. polycephalum‘s wanderlust have solved mazes, identified the shortest path between points, and even reconstructed the network of the Tokyo rail system.

Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.

Leave a Reply

View our comment policy.