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Computer Simulation Sheds New Light on Colliding Stars


Artist's conception of two neutron stars colliding.

A University of Alberta astrophysicist created a three-dimensional computer model that offers unprecedented detail of the aftermath of a collision between two neutron stars.

Credit: Robin Dienel/Carnegie Institution for Science

An international research team used supercomputers at the U.S. National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center in Berkeley, CA, to run a three-dimensional (3D) computer model of a neutron star collision.

The simulation, more sophisticated than previous models, can account for the dispersal of stellar matter following collisions.

For example, the new model determined the accretion disk of remnant debris orbiting the combined star ejects twice the amount of material and at higher speeds, compared with two-dimensional models.

Said the University of Alberta's Rodrigo Fernandez, "We know the equations that describe [the magnetic field's effect on accretion disk formation], but the only way that we can properly describe them is in 3D. So, not only do you have to run the simulation for a long time, you also have to model it in three dimensions, which is computationally very expensive."

From R&D Magazine
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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