Plans to build a super-network designed to unlock the secrets of the universe have been announced by Professor Stephen Hawking.
The UK CosmoGrid, which will help scientists put together an accurate history of the universe, will be built using computers at universities across the UK, including Sussex, Manchester, Oxford and Portsmouth.
These will be linked to a supercomputer in Cambridge, which will oversee the programme.
Hawking explained that the network will help scientists analyse the background radiation left behind by the Big Bang.
Costing more than £2m, the CosmoGrid project is based on customised software from industry leaders SGI and Platform Computing.
Hawking told a press conference: "This analysis is very computationally challenging but it will give us unprecedented new information about the origin and present state of our universe."
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