Living Reviews in Computational Astrophysics: first articles online

© SpringerLiving Reviews in Computational Astrophysics is a new peer-reviewed open-access journal. Founded and supported by the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, the new member of the pioneering Living Reviews family is published by Springer International.

The journal aims at offering a comprehensive survey of research in computational astrophysics that physicists will know is up-to-date and reliable. Living Reviews is unique in that it only publishes high-quality review articles whose authors commit to update them regularly. This is the meaning of the word “living” in the journal’s title.

Living Reviews in Computational Astrophysics now started publication with its first two review articles: “SPH Methods in the Modelling of Compact Objects” by Stephan Rosswog and “Large Eddy Simulations in Astrophysics” by Wolfram Schmidt.

Please find the abstracts and further details below.

Stephan Rosswog
SPH Methods in the Modelling of Compact Objects


We review the current status of compact object simulations that are based on the smooth particle hydrodynamics (SPH) method. The first main part of this review is dedicated to SPH as a numerical method. We begin by discussing relevant kernel approximation techniques and discuss the performance of different kernel functions. Subsequently, we review a number of different SPH formulations of Newtonian, special- and general relativistic ideal fluid dynamics. We particularly point out recent developments that increase the accuracy of SPH with respect to commonly used techniques. The second main part of the review is dedicated to the application of SPH in compact object simulations. We discuss encounters between two white dwarfs, between two neutron stars and between a neutron star and a stellar-mass black hole. For each type of system, the main focus is on the more common, gravitational wave-driven binary mergers, but we also discuss dynamical collisions as they occur in dense stellar systems such as cores of globular clusters.

Wolfram Schmidt
“Large Eddy Simulations in Astrophysics”


In this review, the methodology of large eddy simulations (LES) is introduced and applications in astrophysics are discussed. As theoretical framework, the scale decomposition of the dynamical equations for neutral fluids by means of spatial filtering is explained. For cosmological applications, the filtered equations in comoving coordinates are also presented. To obtain a closed set of equations that can be evolved in LES, several subgrid-scale models for the interactions between numerically resolved and unresolved scales are discussed, in particular the subgrid-scale turbulence energy equation model. It is then shown how model coefficients can be calculated, either by dynamic procedures or, a priori, from high-resolution data. For astrophysical applications, adaptive mesh refinement is often indispensable. It is shown that the subgrid-scale turbulence energy model allows for a particularly elegant and physically well-motivated way of preserving momentum and energy conservation in adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) simulations. Moreover, the notion of shear-improved models for inhomogeneous and non-stationary turbulence is introduced. Finally, applications of LES to turbulent combustion in thermonuclear supernovae, star formation and feedback in galaxies, and cosmological structure formation are reviewed.