Department of Astronomy & Physics

Contour advection tracer method in smoothed particle hydrodynamics

Speaker: Ms. Tiffany Fields (SMU)
Time: August 15, 2019 - 9:30 AM
Location: Atrium 305


Studying the evolution of galaxies is important in understanding many other astrophysical phenomenon such as star formation history, the interstellar medium, and more. However, this process required numerical work due to the long timescales over which evolution occurs. To study the effects of chaotic mixing within a galactic disk, we implemented a contour advection method using tracers to follow the flow of the gas within a galactic disk. In this thesis, we examined the effects of integration properties such as timestep normalization, tracer mass, artificial viscosity felt by the tracers, temperature ceiling, and more to determine the ways that our tracer method could produce errors during evolution. We found that the primary issue with the tracer method was how the tracers experienced shock regions, or regions of steep density contrasts. When tracers experienced too much shock heating, they overheated and were ejected from the disk. When the tracers experienced too little shock heating, however, they flowed through the shock without feeling the effects. Both of these instances led to incorrect following of the gas flow.


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