High Performance Computing

in theoretical astrophysics


R. Capuzzo Dolcetta, M. Arca Sedda, D. Punzo, M. Spera

Dep. of Physics, Sapienza, Univ. of Roma, Italy

and the collaborators

A. Mastrobuono Battisti1, M. Montuori2

1 Technion Inst., Haifa (Israel), 2 Ist. di Fisica dei Sistemi Complessi (CNR)


The application of high end computing to astrophysical problems, mainly in the galactic environment, is a well established topic at the Dep. of Physics of Sapienza Univ. of Roma. The main scientific subject is the physics of self gravitating systems, whose specific subtopics are:

i) celestial mechanics and interplanetary probe transfers in the solar system; ii) dynamics of globular clusters and of globular cluster systems; iii) nuclear clusters formation and evolution; iv) massive black hole formation and evolution; v) young star cluster early evolution.

Many relevant scientific results in these fields have been reached by our group by means of our simulation techniques. In particular, we have developed various numerical codes to follow the dynamics of dry systems (purely stellar systems). We have followed a phylosophy a bit different from that of other groups in that we preferred developing, testing and running our own original codes rather than resorting to freely available simulation codes and packages.


In this web page we address to three codes of ours aiming at the study of the evolution of classic, newtonian N-body systems.

One of them, ATD, is an adaptive tree-code developed by Capuzzo-Dolcetta and Miocchi (adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2002A%26A...382..758M), which constitutes an improvement of the classic Barnes and Hut (1986) tree algorithm scheme.

The other two codes are high-precision, direct summation codes particularly apt to follow the evolution of collisional stellar systems with high computational efficiency:

NBSymple: a symplectic, 6th order N-body integrator

HiGPUs: a Hermite's, 6th order individual time stepping N-body integrator