This week’s post is about innovative work led by Carola I. Ellinger and Sangwook Park (University of Texas, Arlington) to perform 3D modeling of the core collapse phase of a supernova as it evolved into remnants. As Park put it: “There are a lot of numerical simulations for the explosion of the supernova and a lot of simulations of the blast wave expanding into interstellar medium, but there was no useful work connecting the two, even though the physics are connected.” Astronomers can now begin to distinguish between debris ejected from the exploded star and pre-existing material swept up in the blast.
The video below shows one octant of the development of a core collapse supernova.
The calculations were performed at the Texas Advanced Computing Center, and were performed using the SNSPH code. Developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, this is a parallel, three-dimensional smooth particle hydrodynamics code that models the Euler equations and in tandem with a flux-limited diffusion package to model radiation transport.
The code exploits a tree-algorithm for fast traversal across an ensemble of particles. A tree -algorithm allows the program to quickly identify nearby particles that need be processed individually, and more distant ensembles particles that can be approximated as single large particles. Learn more about tree codes here (PDF; free download) , on John Boccio’s web page. John’s notes are based in part on Josh Barnes’ excellent web page guide to tree codes.
Based on a post that originally appeared in International Science Grid This Week.