What is it about?

On the large scales of the universe, galaxies are distributed along a sort of giant cosmic web, which arises from an initially homogeneous universe just by the force of gravity. The dark matter, which is actually more abundant than the visible matter in galaxies, follows the same pattern. The cosmic web is actually a self-similar structure, with fractal geometry. Gravity may seem a simple force, but it acts at every scale and induces a sort of turbulent dynamics.

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Why is it important?

There are several theories of the large scale structure of the universe, partially successful but difficult to reconcile. This is a serious attempt to formulate these theories within the same framework, namely, the fractal geometry and turbulent dynamics of the cosmic web. The attempt is successful, insofar as modern galaxy data and results from cosmological N-body simulations agree with a (multi) fractal model consistent with the laws of gravity. The study of the fractal geometry and turbulent dynamics of the cosmic web will surely help to unveil the dark matter mysteries.


This article reviews the long-standing problem of the large-scale structure of the universe, which has given rise to a heated controversy ("the fractal debate"). I have been involved in it to some extent and I am happy to conclude that we have a good unified theory on which everybody can rely. The problem is nonetheless difficult, similar to but more difficult than the problem of fluid turbulence.

Dr. Jose Gaite
Universidad Politecnica de Madrid

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The Fractal Geometry of the Cosmic Web and Its Formation, Advances in Astronomy, May 2019, Hindawi Publishing Corporation,
DOI: 10.1155/2019/6587138.
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