Numerical Simulations of Astrophysical Plasmas

D. Pomarède, B. Thooris, E. Audit, and R. Teyssier (France)


Simulation Tools and Languages; Simulation Optimiza tion; Visualization; Numerical Methods.


Simulations conducted on high-performance, massively parallel mainframes have become a central tool in the study of astrophysical plasmas. Two parallelized codes, HERA CLES and RAMSES, respectively dedicated to the simu lation of the interstellar medium dynamics and the for mation of cosmological structures, are described. Their algorithms implement a precise modelling of fundamen tal physical processes, including hydrodynamics, radiative transfer, gravitation, transport, turbulence, and diffusion. These algorithms are developed in Fortran 90 and paral lelized with MPI. The RAMSES code benefits from the implementation of the AMR Adaptive Mesh Refinement technique, while the HERACLES code in its current imple mentation uses fixed, multi-geometrical grids. The techni cal software aspects of data handling and visualization are discussed. Data management is realized through the use of the HDF5 hierarchical data file format. A graphical inter face, developed in the framework of IDL object program ming, is presented. This application is optimized to provide interactive, three-dimensional representations of large data sets. Visualization of scalar and vector fields, as well as particles clouds, is obtained for AMR and cartesian grid geometries. Finally, prospects such as the introduction of a multigrid approach to overcome spatial resolution limi tations, are presented. Application to other fields are dis cussed.

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