Journal Article

A test suite for quantitative comparison of hydrodynamic codes in astrophysics

Elizabeth J. Tasker, Riccardo Brunino, Nigel L. Mitchell, Dolf Michielsen, Stephen Hopton, Frazer R. Pearce, Greg L. Bryan and Tom Theuns

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 390, issue 3, pages 1267-1281
Published in print November 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online October 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
A test suite for quantitative comparison of hydrodynamic codes in astrophysics

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We test four commonly used astrophysical simulation codes, enzo, flash, gadget and hydra, using a suite of numerical problems with analytic initial and final states. Situations similar to the conditions of these tests, a Sod shock, a Sedov blast, and both a static and translating King sphere, occur commonly in astrophysics, where the accurate treatment of shocks, sound waves, supernovae explosions and collapsed haloes is a key condition for obtaining reliable validated simulations. We demonstrate that comparable results can be obtained for Lagrangian and Eulerian codes by requiring that approximately one particle exists per grid cell in the region of interest. We conclude that adaptive Eulerian codes, with their ability to place refinements in regions of rapidly changing density, are well suited to problems where physical processes are related to such changes. Lagrangian methods, on the other hand, are well suited to problems where large density contrasts occur and the physics are related to the local density itself rather than the local density gradient.

Keywords: hydrodynamics; methods: numerical; cosmology: theory

Journal Article.  11181 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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