Journal Article

Introducing a hybrid radiative transfer method for smoothed particle hydrodynamics

Duncan Forgan, Ken Rice, Dimitris Stamatellos and Anthony Whitworth

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 394, issue 2, pages 882-891
Published in print April 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online March 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Introducing a hybrid radiative transfer method for smoothed particle hydrodynamics

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A new means of incorporating radiative transfer into smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) is introduced, which builds on the success of two previous methods – the polytropic cooling approximation as devised by Stamatellos et al. and flux-limited diffusion. This hybrid method preserves the strengths of its individual components, while removing the need for atmosphere matching or other boundary conditions to marry optically thick and optically thin regions. The code uses a non-trivial equation of state to calculate temperatures and opacities of SPH particles, which captures the effects of H2 dissociation, H0 ionization, He0 and He+ ionization, ice evaporation, dust sublimation, molecular absorption, bound-free and free–free transitions and electron scattering. The method is tested in several scenarios, including (i) the evolution of a 0.07 M protoplanetary disc surrounding a 0.5 M star; (ii) the collapse of a 1 M protostellar cloud and (iii) the thermal relaxation of temperature fluctuations in a static homogeneous sphere.

Keywords: accretion, accretion discs; hydrodynamics; radiative transfer; methods: numerical; stars: formation

Journal Article.  5913 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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