Apr 25, 2021

A breakthrough astrophysics code rapidly models stellar collisions

Posted by in categories: computing, physics

A breakthrough astrophysics code, named Octo-Tiger, simulates the evolution of self-gravitating and rotating systems of arbitrary geometry using adaptive mesh refinement and a new method to parallelize the code to achieve superior speeds.

This new code to model stellar collisions is more expeditious than the established code used for . The research came from a unique collaboration between experimental computer scientists and astrophysicists in the Louisiana State University Department of Physics & Astronomy, the LSU Center for Computation & Technology, Indiana University Kokomo and Macquarie University, Australia, culminating in over of a year of benchmark testing and scientific simulations, supported by multiple NSF grants, including one specifically designed to break the barrier between computer science and astrophysics.

“Thanks to a significant effort across this collaboration, we now have a reliable computational framework to simulate stellar mergers,” said Patrick Motl, professor of physics at Indiana University Kokomo. “By substantially reducing the to complete a simulation, we can begin to ask new questions that could not be addressed when a single-merger simulation was precious and very time consuming. We can explore more parameter space, examine a simulation at very high spatial resolution or for longer times after a merger, and we can extend the simulations to include more complete physical models by incorporating radiative transfer, for example.”

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