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Friday, May 13, 2022
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Cahill 370

TAPIR Seminar

Beyond Simulations
Paul Duffell, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy, Purdue University,

In person and online -- to Join via Zoom

How does a computational astrophysicist get the most out of their code?  For some, the goal is to make simulations that mimic reality as closely as possible. However, in this talk I argue for a "computational experiment" approach, where the end goal is not to reproduce the system realistically, but to understand the fundamental laws governing it.  I will make the case that this approach often leads to a much more clear understanding of the underlying physical system.  First, I will describe some of the specialized numerical codes I have developed, which employ unique moving meshes tailored to the physical system being studied. Next, I will discuss a few important examples to which I have applied my codes and "computational experiment" approach; one example involving gap opening in protoplanetary disks, and another investigating the neutron star merger event GW170817.

For more information, please contact JoAnn Boyd by phone at 626-395-4280 or by email at