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MIT/ILP Calendar Event

One of a Series: Physics Colloquium

Supercomputer Explorations of Galaxy Formation

April 20, 2017, 4 PM


Volker Springel
Heidelberg University

Host: Mark Vogelsberger

The Universe features a rather strange composition, with unknown dark matter and dark energy components dominating today's energy density. Early numerical simulations have played a pivotal role in demonstrating that this unexpected cosmological model gives rise to a remarkably successful theory for structure formation. Nowadays, hydrodynamical simulations have become our most important theoretical tool to study non-linear multi-scale dynamics in the baryonic sector, allowing us to follow how hydrogen and helium gases condense out in galaxies, form stars, and populate the predicted dark matter structures. However, we still struggle to understand the regulation of star formation, which appears rather inefficient on a global scale, defying simple theoretical expectations. In this talk, I will review some of the current results of galaxy formation simulations and discuss how they help us to identify and constrain the physics shaping galaxies and clusters of galaxies. I will also discuss the quest for high precision numerical predictions of the baryonic imprint on dark matter structures, which directly affects observational programs to constrain the physical nature of dark energy.


Building 10 Map

Building 10, Room 250