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cosmic-heating-by-magnetic-fields Could magnetic fields have heated up the Universe while it was very young? This question was addressed with state-of-the art numerical simulations by astrophysicists at the Hamburg Observatory and the University of Manchester. Generally, magnetic fields play an important role in galaxies and are observed in clusters of galaxies out to large cosmological scales. If magnetic fields were already present in the very early Universe shortly after the hot big bang, they would affect the evolution history of the Universe. A key effect is the energy release or heating produced by magnetic field decay and dissipation. This is especially interesting around the recombination epoch when the Universe was approximately 375,000 years old. The Universe...