Numerical Simulations of Disc Galaxies

Dr Daisuke Kawata and Prof. Kinwah Wu

ESA's Gaia mission (launched in Dec. 2013) will uncover revolutionary detailed views of the stellar components and dynamical properties of Milky Way. Additionally, the future radio observations with the SKA will provide the information about the gas and magnetic field properties. Computer simulation of the Milky Way like disc galaxy is a powerful tool to understand the physical process of galaxy formation and evolution by comparing with these observations. The objective of this project is to improve and optimise the MSSL's original particle-based galactic magneto-hydrodynamics code, GCMHD+, on the state-of-the art supercomputers in the UK. The student will run unprecedentedly high-resolution numerical simulations of the Milky Way-like disc galaxy. The student will compare them with the observations, and make the predictions for the future observations, to understand the physical process of galaxy formation and evolution, such as spiral arm formation, star formation in the arm and inter-arm and stellar feedback, and how they affect the magnetic field properties in the Milky Way. We seek a student who like computer programming and enthusiastic to tackle this challenging project.

A Milky Way sized disk simulation

Face-on view of star (left) and gas (right) particle distribution in a simulated Milky Way sized disk. (courtesy of Robert Grand)