The cold dark matter model has become the leading theoretical picture for the formation of structure in the Universe. This model, together with the theory of cosmic inflation, makes a clear prediction for the initial conditions for structure formation and predicts that structures grow hierarchically through gravitational instability. Testing this model requires that the precise measurements delivered by galaxy surveys can be compared to robust and equally precise theoretical calculations. Here we present a simulation of the growth of dark matter structure using 2,160 3 particles, following them from redshift z = 127 to the present in a cube-shaped region 2,230 billion lightyears on a side. In postprocessing, we also follow the formation and evolution of the galaxies and quasars. We show that baryon-induced features in the initial conditions of the Universe are reflected in distorted form in the low-redshift galaxy distribution, an effect that can be used to constrain the nature of dark energy with future generations of observational surveys of galaxies
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