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   COMPUTATIONAL RELATIVISTIC ASTROPHYSICS

Note: The public lectures in this column are free and do not require registration

Public Lecture Series:
Sackler Lecture in Astrophysics:
Roger Blandford

Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology
Stanford University
Thursday, April 22, 2009
8:00 PM, McDonnell A02

   

Computational Relativistic Astrophysics: 2009-2010


Organizers: Adam Burrows, Frans Pretorius, Anatoly Spitkovsky, Branson Stephens, Jim Stone

Co-sponsored by The D. E. Shaw Group.

Relativistic Astrophysics is experiencing an explosion in the quality of data and the level of sophistication of the modeling. Broadly defined, relativistic astrophysics studies phenomena for which the effects of Einstein's theory of relativity play a crucial role in determining the observables. Examples include relativistic motion of astrophysical jets, accretion onto black holes, formation and mergers of neutron stars and black holes, supernova explosions, and the acceleration of cosmic rays. For the next several years we expect a unique confluence of simultaneous observations from ground and space-based telescopes that span the whole electromagnetic spectrum: VLA (radio), Hubble/JWST (optical/infrared), Chandra, XMM, SWIFT, NuStar (X-rays), GLAST (gamma-rays), and HESS/MAGIC (multi-TeV gamma-rays). These facilities will be combined with the qualitatively new windows provided by particle astronomy via cosmic rays (Auger) and neutrinos (IceCube), and gravitational wave astronomy with LIGO.
Theoretical understanding of the extreme environments of relativistic astrophysics is challenging due to the difficulties of modeling the nonlinear physical processes involved. Only recently, robust algorithms for relativistic magnetohydrodynamcs (RMHD) and for the solution of the Einstein equations have been developed and applied to astrophysics.

The goal of this program is to further the development and use of advanced numerical techniques for problems where both strong gravity and MHD are important, where strong magnetic fields determine the evolution, and where the models of relativistic microphysics are uncertain.

April 22-23:
"Computational Relativistic Astrophysics"
Roger Blandford, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics
Sackler Lectures in Astrophysics

PROGRAM

POSTER

January 13-16:
"Computational Relativistic Astrophysics: Frontiers of MHD"
A tentative outline is:
• January 13-14: Compact object magnetospheres, force-free MHD
• January 14-15: Relativistic MHD, Formation and acceleration of relativistic jets, physics of accretion.
• January 16: Non-ideal effects, radiation MHD, kinetic and hybrid approaches.

POSTER

PROGRAM

SLIDES from the January meeting

October 22-24: (Thursday-Saturday)
"Computational General Relativistic Astrophysics"
A tentative outline is: Thursday, October 22: Overview of gravitational wave astronomy and gravitational wave detectors, binary black hole mergers Friday, October 23: Binary neutron star and black hole/neutron star mergers Saturday, October 24: Accretion disks, collapsars, jets, and supernovae.

POSTER

PROGRAM