Computational Astrophysics

Research in computational astrophysics at USM ranges from the investigations of planet and star formation to studies of how the laws of physics on small scales drive the formation of structures at the largest cosmic scales. We are creating simulations of planet and cosmic structure formation that are among the most realistic in the world.

Slice through a cosmological simulation

Chairs / Research Groups

Scientists of the Computational Astrophysics (CAST)-Group, led by Professor Andreas Burkert, are developing state-of-the-art simulations of cosmological and astrophysical phenomena. The focus especially lies on the interplay between the condensation of molecular clouds into stars and associated feedback processes, the link between formation and evolution of AGN and galaxy evolution and their imprint on the intergalactic medium (IGM) or inter cluster medium (ICM).

More on CAST

Associated to the CAST group, Prof. Klaus Dolag and his group focus on forefront simulations of galaxy clusters and the large scale structure, for example they performed the world's (still) largest cosmological hydro-dynamical simulation Magneticum Pathfinder.

More about the group's research

We work towards understanding the processes involved in the formation of planets. The group uses mainly computational tools to model and simulate the structure and evolution of circumstellar disks and the growth processes that lead from sub-micrometer sized dust particles all the way to terrestrial planets or giant planets. We work closely with observational groups to test our predictions or to explain observational properties of the cradles of planets.

More on the Planet Formation Group

Professor Barbara Ercolano and her group are pioneers in the field of star and planet formation, in particular, on how those two processes are linked via the formation of protoplanetary disks.

More on the group

Snapshot from the Magneticum Pathfinder Simulation
© Klaus Dolag