Computer Science NASC Seminar

Low Mach Number Models in Computational Astrophysics

John Bell, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

October 29, 2010 10:00AM
Warren Weaver Hall, Room 1302
251 Mercer Street
New York, NY, 10012-1110

Fall 2010 NASC Seminars Calendar


A number of problems in astrophysics are characterized by low Mach number
Examples include the convection phase in a white dwarf prior to ignition of a Type Ia supernova, X-ray
bursts and convection in massive stars. Low Mach number models analytically remove acoustic
wave propagation while retaining compressibility eff ects resulting from nuclear reactions and ambi-
ent strati fication. This enables time steps controlled by advective time scales, resulting in signifi cant
reduction in computational costs. We will discuss the derivation and basic discretization methodol-
ogy for low Mach number models for astrophysical applications and present computational results
illustrating application of the methodology, focusing on the convection leading up to ignition in a
Type Ia supernova.

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