The Institute for Computational Cosmology (ICC) is a Research Institute at Durham University, England. It was founded in November 2002 as part of the Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics, which also includes the Institute for Particle Physics Phenomenology (IPPP).
The ICC’s primary mission is to advance fundamental knowledge in cosmology. Topics of active research include: the nature of dark matter and dark energy, the evolution of cosmic structure, the formation of galaxies, and the determination of fundamental parameters.
The current director of the ICC is Carlos Frenk; the deputy director is Shaun Cole. ICC researchers have played a central role in the development of the standard model of cosmology, Lambda-CDM model (ΛCDM).
Because of the vast scale of questions in cosmology, advances often require supercomputer simulations in which a virtual Universe is allowed to evolve for 13.8 billion years from the Big Bang to the present day.
The simulation is rerun with different ingredients or different physics, until it matches the observed Universe. This approach has required one of the most powerful supercomputers for academic research in the world, the “Cosmology Machine (COSMA)” as part of the DiRAC supercomputing consortium.