Computational Astrophysics

Computational astrophysics attempts to simulate astrophysical processes on a computer. These processes can be very complex and include planet formation, star formation, galaxy formation, supernova explosions, accretion disks around neutron stars and black holes, and mergers between white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes.

Professor Maller works in the area of galaxy formation, where galaxies are simulated on a computer. Galaxy formation involves many aspects of physics. Gravity is the dominant force causes dense regions to become denser overtime.  Hydrodynamics governs the motion of gas which heats and then cools settling into galaxies. Dense gas forms stars and black holes which emit energy back into the gas heating it.  An example of a simulation with all these processes can be seen in the video below. This simulation was run on the CUNY-HPC cluster Salk for 18months producing 3.5 Tb of data.



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