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Paper: Extracting Insights from Astrophysics Simulations
Volume: 522, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXVII
Page: 225
Authors: Goldbaum, N. J.
Abstract: Simulations inform all aspects of modern astrophysical research, ranging in scale from 1D and 2D test problems that can run in seconds on an astronomer's laptop all the way to large-scale 3D calculations that run on the largest supercomputers, with a spectrum of data sizes and shapes filling the landscape between these two extremes. I review the diversity of astrophysics simulation data formats commonly in use by researchers, providing an overview of the most common simulation techniques, including pure N-body dynamics, smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH), adaptive mesh refinement (AMR), and unstructured meshes. Additionally, I highlight methods for incorporating physical phenomena that are important for astrophysics, including chemistry, magnetic fields, radiative transport, and "subgrid" recipes for important physics that cannot be directly resolved in a simulation. In addition to the numerical techniques, I also discuss the communities that have developed around these simulation codes and argue that increasing use and availability of open community codes has dramatically lowered the barrier to entry for novice simulators.
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