Awesome. Although I flinched at the title of the video: "to compute the laws of Nature". I didn't see where they started with (mathematical) Set Theory and arrived at quantum gauge invariance...did I miss it? LOL. Quite an achievement, really (but maybe we're not quite ready to compute the Laws of Nature...unless I missed the revelation about the origin of the "fine tuning" of ~100 or so parameters?)

An impressive accomplishment. The paper is available on the arXiv if Nature is behind a paywall for you. The fact that they successfully reproduced a realistic distribution of elliptical, spiral, and barred spiral galaxies is yet more proof (if any were needed) of the correctness of the Lambda-CDM standard cosmological model. One question I have after reading the paper is whether anyone knows how they modeled SMBH formation. Do the SMBH's grow naturally or do they need to be put in "by hand"? Any inputs?

(Edit - from reading the web site, it looks like there is a paper in preparation on this topic.)

I'm also curious as to what distinguishes a star-forming spiral from a "red and dead" elliptical. The initial angular momentum? Gas content? These are questions that should be answerable by studying the simulation. Note that they plan to make snapshots of the simulation publicly available for study by third parties.

The illustris video is quite interesting. The web site just came up a few days ago and has some additional links. The computational power required to generate these images is almost beyond comprehension. Are we entering an age where science will be vetted by computer modeling, or has it already slipped upon us? In any event, this is a milestone achievement.

I'd say its slipping upon us, or will shortly do so. The advances in computing power I've been keeping track of is on the threshold of significant advances.