Journal Article

Particle hydrodynamics with tessellation techniques

Steffen Heß and Volker Springel

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 406, issue 4, pages 2289-2311
Published in print August 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Particle hydrodynamics with tessellation techniques

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Lagrangian smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) is a well-established approach to model fluids in astrophysical problems, thanks to its geometric flexibility and ability to automatically adjust the spatial resolution to the clumping of matter. However, a number of recent studies have emphasized inaccuracies of SPH in the treatment of fluid instabilities. The origin of these numerical problems can be traced back to spurious surface effects across contact discontinuities, and to SPH's inherent prevention of mixing at the particle level. We here investigate a new fluid particle model where the density estimate is carried out with the help of an auxiliary mesh constructed as the Voronoi tessellation of the simulation particles instead of an adaptive smoothing kernel. This Voronoi-based approach improves the ability of the scheme to represent sharp contact discontinuities. We show that this eliminates spurious surface tension effects present in SPH and that play a role in suppressing certain fluid instabilities. We find that the new ‘Voronoi Particle Hydrodynamics’ (VPH) described here produces comparable results to SPH in shocks, and better ones in turbulent regimes of pure hydrodynamical simulations. We also discuss formulations of the artificial viscosity needed in this scheme and how judiciously chosen correction forces can be derived in order to maintain a high degree of particle order and hence a regular Voronoi mesh. This is especially helpful in simulating self-gravitating fluids with existing gravity solvers used for N-body simulations.

Keywords: hydrodynamics; methods: numerical

Journal Article.  16280 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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