Institute for Computational Astrophysics

Image of the Month

April 2014

click on image to enlarge

The image shows surface radius variation for the n=1, ℓ=2, m=0 oscillation mode of 1.875 M8 Zero Age Main Sequence models at various rotation speeds. The surface equatorial velocities are given in km/s. At zero rotation the latitudinal variation is that of an ℓ=2 Legendre polynomial. Rotating models incorporate a range of Legendre polynomials instead of just one, gradually changing the nature of the latitudinal variation. As the rotation rate increases, the node shifts towards the pole and eventually a second node is created near the equator. At the highest rotation velocity a third node has appeared near the pole. It should be noted that when the second node appears the mode does not resemble an ℓ=4 Legendre polynomial. While this case shows an increase in nodes with increasing rotation, there are cases which show a decrease in the number of nodes. These mode calculations were performed by Ph. D. student Mr. Diego Castañeda working with Dr. Robert Deupree.

Introduction to ICA

The Institute for Computational Astrophysics (ICA) was formed to expand an area of expertise within the Department of Astronomy and Physics at Saint Mary's University. Since its creation in late 2001, the ICA has grown to six full time faculty members, and at any time there are on the order of eight graduate students and two post doctoral fellows amongst the ICA membership. This does not include the other faculty, graduate students, and post doctoral fellows in the Department of Astronomy and Physics. The ICA promotes research in computational astrophysics through the research and publication activities of the individual members, by hosting visitors and colloquium speakers, and by having all its members participate in national and international conferences.

The ICA is also responsible for providing its members with access to high performance computing resources. The ICA has its own small cluster for code development, but most computing is done through ACEnet, the academic research high performance computing provider for Atlantic Canada. ACEnet also provides other collaboration and visualization tools on the Saint Mary's campus. The ICA has played a significant role in the formation and direction of ACEnet, with one ICA member serving as the Principal Investigator of ACEnet since the project was funded, two others having served or currently serving on the Research Directorate, and one member on the Resource Allocation Committee. ACEnet also employs three full time technical support personnel stationed at Saint Mary's, and ICA members have been major beneficiaries of their expertise.

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