Computational Modelling Group

Gravitational waves from neutron stars

Ian Hawke

Gravitational waves are "ripples in spacetime". Predicted by Einstein's theory of relativity, they are very weak disturbances propagating at the speed of light. They carry information about extremely violent events in the universe. If detected by observatories such as LIGO or LISA we will learn much about matter and gravity in extreme situations.

However, to stand a chance of detecting these waves, and to get the most from a successful observation, we need to simulate the matter (usually using relativistic hydrodynamics) and the spacetime. Work on this at Southampton concentrates on full nonlinear simulations using the Whisky code, mainly through simulating the collapse of supermassive stars and neutron stars to black holes.


Physical Systems and Engineering simulation: Astrophysics

Algorithms and computational methods: Finite differences

Visualisation and data handling software: Gnuplot, HDF5, VisIt, VTK

Software Engineering Tools: CVS, SVN

Programming languages and libraries: C, C++, Fortran, Matlab, MPI

Computational platforms: Linux