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Results 101-200 of 1981 (1948 ASCL, 33 submitted)

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[ascl:1010.058] VINE: A numerical code for simulating astrophysical systems using particles

VINE is a particle based astrophysical simulation code. It uses a tree structure to efficiently solve the gravitational N-body problem and Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) to simulate gas dynamical effects. The code has been successfully used for a number of studies on galaxy interactions, galactic dynamics, star formation and planet formation and given the implemented physics, other applications are possible as well.

[ascl:1010.059] CESAM: A Free Code for Stellar Evolution Calculations

The Cesam code is a consistent set of programs and routines which perform calculations of 1D quasi-hydrostatic stellar evolution including microscopic diffusion of chemical species and diffusion of angular momentum. The solution of the quasi-static equilibrium is performed by a collocation method based on piecewise polynomials approximations projected on a B-spline basis; that allows stable and robust calculations, and the exact restitution of the solution, not only at grid points, even for the discontinuous variables. Other advantages are the monitoring by only one parameter of the accuracy and its improvement by super-convergence. An automatic mesh refinement has been designed for adjusting the localisations of grid points according to the changes of unknowns. For standard models, the evolution of the chemical composition is solved by stiffly stable schemes of orders up to four; in the convection zones mixing and evolution of chemical are simultaneous. The solution of the diffusion equation employs the Galerkin finite elements scheme; the mixing of chemicals is then performed by a strong turbulent diffusion. A precise restoration of the atmosphere is allowed for.

[ascl:1010.060] Pencil: Finite-difference Code for Compressible Hydrodynamic Flows

The Pencil code is a high-order finite-difference code for compressible hydrodynamic flows with magnetic fields. It is highly modular and can easily be adapted to different types of problems. The code runs efficiently under MPI on massively parallel shared- or distributed-memory computers, like e.g. large Beowulf clusters. The Pencil code is primarily designed to deal with weakly compressible turbulent flows. To achieve good parallelization, explicit (as opposed to compact) finite differences are used. Typical scientific targets include driven MHD turbulence in a periodic box, convection in a slab with non-periodic upper and lower boundaries, a convective star embedded in a fully nonperiodic box, accretion disc turbulence in the shearing sheet approximation, self-gravity, non-local radiation transfer, dust particle evolution with feedback on the gas, etc. A range of artificial viscosity and diffusion schemes can be invoked to deal with supersonic flows. For direct simulations regular viscosity and diffusion is being used. The code is written in well-commented Fortran90.

[ascl:1010.061] EyE: Enhance Your Extraction

In EyE (Enhance Your Extraction) an artificial neural network connected to pixels of a moving window (retina) is trained to associate these input stimuli to the corresponding response in one or several output image(s). The resulting filter can be loaded in SExtractor to operate complex, wildly non-linear filters on astronomical images. Typical applications of EyE include adaptive filtering, feature detection and cosmetic corrections.

[ascl:1010.062] MissFITS: Basic Maintenance and Packaging Tasks on FITS Files

MissFITS is a program that performs basic maintenance and packaging tasks on FITS files using an optimized FITS library. MissFITS can:

  • add, edit, and remove FITS header keywords;
  • split and join Multi-Extension-FITS (MEF) files;
  • unpile and pile FITS data-cubes; and,
  • create, check, and update FITS checksums, using R. Seaman’s protocol.

[ascl:1010.063] SCAMP: Automatic Astrometric and Photometric Calibration

Astrometric and photometric calibrations have remained the most tiresome step in the reduction of large imaging surveys. SCAMP has been written to address this problem. The program efficiently computes accurate astrometric and photometric solutions for any arbitrary sequence of FITS images in a completely automatic way. SCAMP is released under the GNU General Public License.

[ascl:1010.064] SExtractor: Source Extractor

This new software optimally detects, de-blends, measures and classifies sources from astronomical images: SExtractor (Source Extractor). A very reliable star/galaxy separation can be achieved on most images using a neural network trained with simulated images. Salient features of SExtractor include its ability to work on very large images, with minimal human intervention, and to deal with a wide variety of object shapes and magnitudes. It is therefore particularly suited to the analysis of large extragalactic surveys.

[ascl:1010.065] Higher Post Newtonian Gravity Calculations

Motivated by experimental probes of general relativity, we adopt methods from perturbative (quantum) field theory to compute, up to certain integrals, the effective lagrangian for its n-body problem. Perturbation theory is performed about a background Minkowski spacetime to O[(v/c)^4] beyond Newtonian gravity, where v is the typical speed of these n particles in their center of energy frame. For the specific case of the 2 body problem, the major efforts underway to measure gravitational waves produced by in-spiraling compact astrophysical binaries require their gravitational interactions to be computed beyond the currently known O[(v/c)^7]. We argue that such higher order post-Newtonian calculations must be automated for these field theoretic methods to be applied successfully to achieve this goal. In view of this, we outline an algorithm that would in principle generate the relevant Feynman diagrams to an arbitrary order in v/c and take steps to develop the necessary software. The Feynman diagrams contributing to the n-body effective action at O[(v/c)^6] beyond Newton are derived.

[ascl:1010.066] SkyMaker: Astronomical Image Simulations Made Easy

SkyMaker is a program that simulates astronomical images. It accepts object lists in ASCII generated by the Stuff program to produce realistic astronomical fields. SkyMaker is part of the EFIGI development project.

[ascl:1010.067] Stuff: Simulating “Perfect” Astronomical Catalogues

Stuff is a program that simulates “perfect” astronomical catalogues. It generate object lists in ASCII which can read by the SkyMaker program to produce realistic astronomical fields. Stuff is part of the EFIGI development project.

[ascl:1010.068] SWarp: Resampling and Co-adding FITS Images Together

SWarp resamples and co-adds together FITS images using any arbitrary astrometric projection defined in the WCS standard. It operates on pre-reduced images and their weight-maps. Based on the astrometric and photometric calibrations derived at an earlier phase of the pipeline, SWarp re-maps ("warps") the pixels to a perfect projection system, and co-adds them in an optimum way, according to their relative weights. SWarp's astrometric engine is based on a customized version of Calabretta's WCSLib 2.6 and supports all of the projections defined in the 2000 version of the WCS proposal.

[ascl:1010.069] WeightWatcher: Code to Produce Control Maps

WeightWatcher is a program that combines weight-maps, flag-maps and polygon data in order to produce control maps which can directly be used in astronomical image-processing packages like Drizzle, SWarp or SExtractor.

[ascl:1010.070] Fisher.py: Fisher Matrix Manipulation and Confidence Contour Plotting

Fisher.py allows you to combine constraints from multiple experiments (e.g., weak lensing + supernovae) and add priors (e.g., a flat universe) simply and easily. Calculate parameter uncertainties and plot confidence ellipses. Fisher matrix expectations for several experiments are included as calculated by myself (time delays) and the Dark Energy Task Force (WL/SN/BAO/CL/CMB), or provide your own.

[ascl:1010.071] WSHAPE: Gravitational Softening and Adaptive Mass Resolution

Pairwise forces between particles in cosmological N-body simulations are generally softened to avoid hard collisions. Physically, this softening corresponds to treating the particles as diffuse clouds rather than point masses. For particles of unequal mass (and hence unequal softening length), computing the softened force involves a nontrivial double integral over the volumes of the two particles. We show that Plummer force softening is consistent with this interpretation of softening while spline softening is not. We provide closed-form expressions and numerical implementation for pairwise gravitational force laws for pairs of particles of general softening scales $epsilon_1$ and $epsilon_2$ assuming the commonly used cloud profiles: NGP, CIC, TSC, and PQS. Similarly, we generalize Plummer force law into pairs of particles of general softenings. We relate our expressions to the gaussian, Plummer and spline force softenings known from literature. Our expressions allow possible inclusions of pointlike particles such as stars or supermassive black holes.

[ascl:1010.072] Enzo: AMR Cosmology Application

Enzo is an adaptive mesh refinement (AMR), grid-based hybrid code (hydro + N-Body) which is designed to do simulations of cosmological structure formation. It uses the algorithms of Berger & Collela to improve spatial and temporal resolution in regions of large gradients, such as gravitationally collapsing objects. The Enzo simulation software is incredibly flexible, and can be used to simulate a wide range of cosmological situations with the available physics packages.

Enzo has been parallelized using the MPI message-passing library and can run on any shared or distributed memory parallel supercomputer or PC cluster. Simulations using as many as 1024 processors have been successfully carried out on the San Diego Supercomputing Center's Blue Horizon, an IBM SP.

[ascl:1010.073] partiview: Immersive 4D Interactive Visualization of Large-Scale Simulations

In dense clusters a bewildering variety of interactions between stars can be observed, ranging from simple encounters to collisions and other mass-transfer encounters. With faster and special-purpose computers like GRAPE, the amount of data per simulation is now exceeding 1TB. Visualization of such data has now become a complex 4D data-mining problem, combining space and time, and finding interesting events in these large datasets. We have recently starting using the virtual reality simulator, installed in the Hayden Planetarium in the American Museum for Natural History, to tackle some of these problem. partiview is a program that enables you to visualize and animate particle data. partiview runs on relatively simple desktops and laptops, but is mostly compatible with its big brother VirDir.

[ascl:1010.074] StarCrash: 3-d Evolution of Self-gravitating Fluid Systems

StarCrash is a parallel fortran code based on Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) techniques to calculate the 3-d evolution of self-gravitating fluid systems. The code in particularly suited to the study of stellar interactions, such as mergers of binary star systems and stellar collisions. The StarCrash code comes with several important features, including:

  • Several routines which construct the initial conditions appropriate to a wide variety of physical systems
  • An efficient parallel neighbor-finding algorithm for calculating hydrodynamic quantities
  • A parallel gravitational field solver based on FFT convolution techniques, which uses the FFTW software libraries
  • Relaxation Techniques for single stars and synchronized binaries
  • Three different artificial viscosity treatments to calculate the thermodynamic evolution of the matter
  • An optional gravitational radiation back-reaction treatment, which calculates the damping force from gravity wave losses to lowest relativistic order in a spatially accurate way

[ascl:1010.075] Radex: Fast Non-LTE Analysis of Interstellar Line Spectra

The large quantity and high quality of modern radio and infrared line observations require efficient modeling techniques to infer physical and chemical parameters such as temperature, density, and molecular abundances. Radex calculates the intensities of atomic and molecular lines produced in a uniform medium, based on statistical equilibrium calculations involving collisional and radiative processes and including radiation from background sources. Optical depth effects are treated with an escape probability method. The program makes use of molecular data files maintained in the Leiden Atomic and Molecular Database (LAMDA), which will continue to be improved and expanded. The performance of the program is compared with more approximate and with more sophisticated methods. An Appendix provides diagnostic plots to estimate physical parameters from line intensity ratios of commonly observed molecules. This program should form an important tool in analyzing observations from current and future radio and infrared telescopes.

[ascl:1010.076] Starlab: A Software Environment for Collisional Stellar Dynamics

Traditionally, a simulation of a dense stellar system required choosing an initial model, running an integrator, and analyzing the output. Almost all of the effort went into writing a clever integrator that could handle binaries, triples and encounters between various multiple systems efficiently. Recently, the scope and complexity of these simulations has increased dramatically, for three reasons: 1) the sheer size of the data sets, measured in Terabytes, make traditional 'awking and grepping' of a single output file impractical; 2) the addition of stellar evolution data brings qualitatively new challenges to the data reduction; 3) increased realism of the simulations invites realistic forms of 'SOS': Simulations of Observations of Simulations, to be compared directly with observations. We are now witnessing a shift toward the construction of archives as well as tailored forms of visualization including the use of virtual reality simulators and planetarium domes, and a coupling of both with budding efforts in constructing virtual observatories. This review describes these new trends, presenting Starlab as the first example of a full software environment for realistic large-scale simulations of dense stellar systems.

[ascl:1010.077] LAMDA: Leiden Atomic and Molecular Database

LAMDA provides users of radiative transfer codes with the basic atomic and molecular data needed for the excitation calculation. Line data of a number of astrophysically interesting species are summarized, including energy levels, statistical weights, Einstein A-coefficients and collisional rate coefficients. Available collisional data from quantum chemical calculations and experiments are in some cases extrapolated to higher energies. Currently the database contains atomic data for 3 species and molecular data for 28 different species. In addition, several isotopomers and deuterated versions are available. This database should form an important tool in analyzing observations from current and future infrared and (sub)millimetre telescopes. Databases such as these rely heavily on the efforts by the chemical physics community to provide the relevant atomic and molecular data. Further efforts in this direction are strongly encouraged so that the current extrapolations of collisional rate coefficients can be replaced by actual calculations in future releases.

RADEX, a computer program for performing statistical equilibrium calculations is made publicly available as part of the data base.

[ascl:1010.078] AstroMD: A Multi Dimensional Visualization and Analysis Toolkit for Astrophysics

Over the past few years, the role of visualization for scientific purpose has grown up enormously. Astronomy makes an extended use of visualization techniques to analyze data, and scientific visualization has became a fundamental part of modern researches in Astronomy. With the evolution of high performance computers, numerical simulations have assumed a great role in the scientific investigation, allowing the user to run simulation with higher and higher resolution. Data produced in these simulations are often multi-dimensional arrays with several physical quantities. These data are very hard to manage and to analyze efficiently. Consequently the data analysis and visualization tools must follow the new requirements of the research. AstroMD is a tool for data analysis and visualization of astrophysical data and can manage different physical quantities and multi-dimensional data sets. The tool uses virtual reality techniques by which the user has the impression of travelling through a computer-based multi-dimensional model.

[ascl:1010.079] Geant4: A Simulation Toolkit for the Passage of Particles through Matter

Geant4 is a toolkit for simulating the passage of particles through matter. It includes a complete range of functionality including tracking, geometry, physics models and hits. The physics processes offered cover a comprehensive range, including electromagnetic, hadronic and optical processes, a large set of long-lived particles, materials and elements, over a wide energy range starting, in some cases, from 250eV and extending in others to the TeV energy range. It has been designed and constructed to expose the physics models utilised, to handle complex geometries, and to enable its easy adaptation for optimal use in different sets of applications. The toolkit is the result of a worldwide collaboration of physicists and software engineers. It has been created exploiting software engineering and object-oriented technology and implemented in the C++ programming language. It has been used in applications in particle physics, nuclear physics, accelerator design, space engineering and medical physics.

[ascl:1010.080] GRACOS: Scalable and Load Balanced P3M Cosmological N-body Code

The GRACOS (GRAvitational COSmology) code, a parallel implementation of the particle-particle/particle-mesh (P3M) algorithm for distributed memory clusters, uses a hybrid method for both computation and domain decomposition. Long-range forces are computed using a Fourier transform gravity solver on a regular mesh; the mesh is distributed across parallel processes using a static one-dimensional slab domain decomposition. Short-range forces are computed by direct summation of close pairs; particles are distributed using a dynamic domain decomposition based on a space-filling Hilbert curve. A nearly-optimal method was devised to dynamically repartition the particle distribution so as to maintain load balance even for extremely inhomogeneous mass distributions. Tests using $800^3$ simulations on a 40-processor beowulf cluster showed good load balance and scalability up to 80 processes. There are limits on scalability imposed by communication and extreme clustering which may be removed by extending the algorithm to include adaptive mesh refinement.

[ascl:1010.081] MGGPOD: A Monte Carlo Suite for Gamma-Ray Astronomy

We have developed MGGPOD, a user-friendly suite of Monte Carlo codes built around the widely used GEANT (Version 3.21) package. The MGGPOD Monte Carlo suite and documentation are publicly available for download. MGGPOD is an ideal tool for supporting the various stages of gamma-ray astronomy missions, ranging from the design, development, and performance prediction through calibration and response generation to data reduction. In particular, MGGPOD is capable of simulating ab initio the physical processes relevant for the production of instrumental backgrounds. These include the build-up and delayed decay of radioactive isotopes as well as the prompt de-excitation of excited nuclei, both of which give rise to a plethora of instrumental gamma-ray background lines in addition to continuum backgrounds.

[ascl:1010.082] FLASH: Adaptive Mesh Hydrodynamics Code for Modeling Astrophysical Thermonuclear Flashes

The FLASH code, currently in its 4th version, is a publicly available high performance application code which has evolved into a modular, extensible software system from a collection of unconnected legacy codes. FLASH consists of inter-operable modules that can be combined to generate different applications. The FLASH architecture allows arbitrarily many alternative implementations of its components to co-exist and interchange with each other. A simple and elegant mechanism exists for customization of code functionality without the need to modify the core implementation of the source. A built-in unit test framework combined with regression tests that run nightly on multiple platforms verify the code.

[ascl:1010.083] MESA: Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics

Stellar physics and evolution calculations enable a broad range of research in astrophysics. Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA) is a suite of open source libraries for a wide range of applications in computational stellar astrophysics. A newly designed 1-D stellar evolution module, MESA star, combines many of the numerical and physics modules for simulations of a wide range of stellar evolution scenarios ranging from very-low mass to massive stars, including advanced evolutionary phases. MESA star solves the fully coupled structure and composition equations simultaneously. It uses adaptive mesh refinement and sophisticated timestep controls, and supports shared memory parallelism based on OpenMP. Independently usable modules provide equation of state, opacity, nuclear reaction rates, and atmosphere boundary conditions. Each module is constructed as a separate Fortran 95 library with its own public interface. Examples include comparisons to other codes and show evolutionary tracks of very low mass stars, brown dwarfs, and gas giant planets; the complete evolution of a 1 Msun star from the pre-main sequence to a cooling white dwarf; the Solar sound speed profile; the evolution of intermediate mass stars through the thermal pulses on the He-shell burning AGB phase; the interior structure of slowly pulsating B Stars and Beta Cepheids; evolutionary tracks of massive stars from the pre-main sequence to the onset of core collapse; stars undergoing Roche lobe overflow; and accretion onto a neutron star.

[ascl:1010.084] WhiskyMHD: Numerical Code for General Relativistic Magnetohydrodynamics

Whisky is a code to evolve the equations of general relativistic hydrodynamics (GRHD) and magnetohydrodynamics (GRMHD) in 3D Cartesian coordinates on a curved dynamical background. It was originally developed by and for members of the EU Network on Sources of Gravitational Radiation and is based on the Cactus Computational Toolkit. Whisky can also implement adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) if compiled together with Carpet.

Whisky has grown from earlier codes such as GR3D and GRAstro_Hydro, but has been rewritten to take advantage of some of the latest research performed here in the EU. The motivation behind Whisky is to compute gravitational radiation waveforms for systems that involve matter. Examples would include the merger of a binary system containing a neutron star, which are expected to be reasonably common in the universe and expected to produce substantial amounts of radiation. Other possible sources are given in the projects list.

[ascl:1010.085] Network Tools for Astronomical Data Retrieval

The first step in a science project is the acquisition and understanding of the relevant data. The tools range from simple data transfer methods to more complex browser-emulating scripts. When integrated with a defined sample or catalog, these scripts provide seamless techniques to retrieve and store data of varying types. These tools can be used to leapfrog from website to website to acquire multi-wavelength datasets. This project demonstrates the capability to use multiple data websites, in conjunction, to perform the type of calculations once reserved for on-site datasets.

[ascl:1011.001] Identikit 1: A Modeling Tool for Interacting Disk Galaxies

By combining test-particle and self-consistent techniques, we have developed a method to rapidly explore the parameter space of galactic encounters. Our method, implemented in an interactive graphics program, can be used to find the parameters required to reproduce the observed morphology and kinematics of interacting disk galaxies. We test this system on an artificial data-set of 36 equal-mass merging encounters, and show that it is usually possible to reproduce the morphology and kinematics of these encounters and that a good match strongly constrains the encounter parameters.

[ascl:1011.002] DAOSPEC: An Automatic Code for Measuring Equivalent Widths in High-resolution Stellar Spectra

DAOSPEC is a Fortran code for measuring equivalent widths of absorption lines in stellar spectra with minimal human involvement. It works with standard FITS format files and it is designed for use with high resolution (R>15000) and high signal-to-noise-ratio (S/N>30) spectra that have been binned on a linear wavelength scale. First, we review the analysis procedures that are usually employed in the literature. Next, we discuss the principles underlying DAOSPEC and point out similarities and differences with respect to conventional measurement techniques. Then experiments with artificial and real spectra are discussed to illustrate the capabilities and limitations of DAOSPEC, with special attention given to the issues of continuum placement; radial velocities; and the effects of strong lines and line crowding. Finally, quantitative comparisons with other codes and with results from the literature are also presented.

[ascl:1011.003] ZPEG: An Extension of the Galaxy Evolution Model PEGASE.2

Photometric redshifts are estimated on the basis of template scenarios with the help of the code ZPEG, an extension of the galaxy evolution model PEGASE.2 and available on the PEGASE web site. The spectral energy distribution (SED) templates are computed for nine spectral types including starburst, irregular, spiral and elliptical. Dust, extinction and metal effects are coherently taken into account, depending on evolution scenarios. The sensitivity of results to adding near-infrared colors and IGM absorption is analyzed. A comparison with results of other models without evolution measures the evolution factor which systematically increases the estimated photometric redshift values by $Delta z$ > 0.2 for z > 1.5. Moreover we systematically check that the evolution scenarios match observational standard templates of nearby galaxies, implying an age constraint of the stellar population at z=0 for each type. The respect of this constraint makes it possible to significantly improve the accuracy of photometric redshifts by decreasing the well-known degeneracy problem. The method is applied to the HDF-N sample. From fits on SED templates by a $chi^2$-minimization procedure, not only is the photometric redshift derived but also the corresponding spectral type and the formation redshift $z_for$ when stars first formed. Early epochs of galaxy formation z > 5 are found from this new method and results are compared to faint galaxy count interpretations.

[ascl:1011.004] MARS: The MAGIC Analysis and Reconstruction Software

With the commissioning of the second MAGIC gamma-ray Cherenkov telescope situated close to MAGIC-I, the standard analysis package of the MAGIC collaboration, MARS, has been upgraded in order to perform the stereoscopic reconstruction of the detected atmospheric showers. MARS is a ROOT-based code written in C++, which includes all the necessary algorithms to transform the raw data recorded by the telescopes into information about the physics parameters of the observed targets. An overview of the methods for extracting the basic shower parameters is presented, together with a description of the tools used in the background discrimination and in the estimation of the gamma-ray source spectra.

[ascl:1011.005] Shape of Cosmic String Loops

Complicated cosmic string loops will fragment until they reach simple, non-intersecting ("stable") configurations. Through extensive numerical study we characterize these attractor loop shapes including their length, velocity, kink, and cusp distributions. We find that an initial loop containing $M$ harmonic modes will, on average, split into 3M stable loops. These stable loops are approximately described by the degenerate kinky loop, which is planar and rectangular, independently of the number of modes on the initial loop. This is confirmed by an analytic construction of a stable family of perturbed degenerate kinky loops. The average stable loop is also found to have a 40% chance of containing a cusp. We examine the properties of stable loops of different lengths and find only slight variation. Finally we develop a new analytic scheme to explicitly solve the string constraint equations.

[ascl:1011.006] DAME: A Web Oriented Infrastructure for Scientific Data Mining & Exploration

DAME (DAta Mining & Exploration) is an innovative, general purpose, Web-based, VObs compliant, distributed data mining infrastructure specialized in Massive Data Sets exploration with machine learning methods. Initially fine tuned to deal with astronomical data only, DAME has evolved in a general purpose platform which has found applications also in other domains of human endeavor.

[ascl:1011.007] RAMSES: A new N-body and hydrodynamical code

A new N-body and hydrodynamical code, called RAMSES, is presented. It has been designed to study structure formation in the universe with high spatial resolution. The code is based on Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) technique, with a tree based data structure allowing recursive grid refinements on a cell-by-cell basis. The N-body solver is very similar to the one developed for the ART code (Kravtsov et al. 97), with minor differences in the exact implementation. The hydrodynamical solver is based on a second-order Godunov method, a modern shock-capturing scheme known to compute accurately the thermal history of the fluid component. The accuracy of the code is carefully estimated using various test cases, from pure gas dynamical tests to cosmological ones. The specific refinement strategy used in cosmological simulations is described, and potential spurious effects associated to shock waves propagation in the resulting AMR grid are discussed and found to be negligible. Results obtained in a large N-body and hydrodynamical simulation of structure formation in a low density LCDM universe are finally reported, with 256^3 particles and 4.1 10^7 cells in the AMR grid, reaching a formal resolution of 8192^3. A convergence analysis of different quantities, such as dark matter density power spectrum, gas pressure power spectrum and individual haloes temperature profiles, shows that numerical results are converging down to the actual resolution limit of the code, and are well reproduced by recent analytical predictions in the framework of the halo model.

[ascl:1011.008] Binsim: Visualising Interacting Binaries in 3D

Binsim produces images of interacting binaries for any system parameters. Though not suitable for modeling light curves or spectra, the resulting images are helpful in visualizing the geometry of a given system and are also helpful in talks and educational work. The code uses the OpenGL API to do the 3D rendering. The software can produce images of cataclysmic variables and X-ray binaries, and can render the mass donor star, an axisymmetric disc (without superhumps, warps or spirals), the accretion stream and hotspot, and a "corona."

[ascl:1011.009] DRAGON: Monte Carlo Generator of Particle Production from a Fragmented Fireball in Ultrarelativistic Nuclear Collisions

A Monte Carlo generator of the final state of hadrons emitted from an ultrarelativistic nuclear collision is introduced. An important feature of the generator is a possible fragmentation of the fireball and emission of the hadrons from fragments. Phase space distribution of the fragments is based on the blast wave model extended to azimuthally non-symmetric fireballs. Parameters of the model can be tuned and this allows to generate final states from various kinds of fireballs. A facultative output in the OSCAR1999A format allows for a comprehensive analysis of phase-space distributions and/or use as an input for an afterburner. DRAGON's purpose is to produce artificial data sets which resemble those coming from real nuclear collisions provided fragmentation occurs at hadronisation and hadrons are emitted from fragments without any further scattering. Its name, DRAGON, stands for DRoplet and hAdron GeneratOr for Nuclear collisions. In a way, the model is similar to THERMINATOR, with the crucial difference that emission from fragments is included.

[ascl:1011.010] Global Sky Model (GSM): A Model of Diffuse Galactic Radio Emission from 10 MHz to 100 GHz

Understanding diffuse Galactic radio emission is interesting both in its own right and for minimizing foreground contamination of cosmological measurements. Cosmic Microwave Background experiments have focused on frequencies > 10 GHz, whereas 21 cm tomography of the high redshift universe will mainly focus on < 0.2 GHz, for which less is currently known about Galactic emission. Motivated by this, we present a global sky model derived from all publicly available total power large-area radio surveys, digitized with optical character recognition when necessary and compiled into a uniform format, as well as the new Villa Elisa data extending the 1.4 GHz map to the entire sky. We quantify statistical and systematic uncertainties in these surveys by comparing them with various global multi-frequency model fits. We find that a principal component based model with only three components can fit the 11 most accurate data sets (at 10, 22, 45 & 408 MHz and 1.4, 2.3, 23, 33, 41, 61, 94 GHz) to an accuracy around 1%-10% depending on frequency and sky region. The data compilation and software returning a predicted all-sky map at any frequency from 10 MHz to 100 GHz are publicly available in the archive file at the link below.

[ascl:1011.011] turboGL: Accurate Modeling of Weak Lensing

turboGL is a fast Mathematica code based on a stochastic approach to cumulative weak lensing. It can easily compute the lensing PDF relative to arbitrary halo mass distributions, selection biases, number of observations, halo profiles and evolutions, making it a useful tool to study how lensing depends on cosmological parameters and impact on observations.

[ascl:1011.012] DEFROST: A New Code for Simulating Preheating after Inflation

At the end of inflation, dynamical instability can rapidly deposit the energy of homogeneous cold inflaton into excitations of other fields. This process, known as preheating, is rather violent, inhomogeneous and non-linear, and has to be studied numerically. This paper presents a new code for simulating scalar field dynamics in expanding universe written for that purpose. Compared to available alternatives, it significantly improves both the speed and the accuracy of calculations, and is fully instrumented for 3D visualization. We reproduce previously published results on preheating in simple chaotic inflation models, and further investigate non-linear dynamics of the inflaton decay. Surprisingly, we find that the fields do not want to thermalize quite the way one would think. Instead of directly reaching equilibrium, the evolution appears to be stuck in a rather simple but quite inhomogeneous state. In particular, one-point distribution function of total energy density appears to be universal among various two-field preheating models, and is exceedingly well described by a lognormal distribution. It is tempting to attribute this state to scalar field turbulence.

[ascl:1011.013] EasyLTB: Code for Testing LTB Models against CosmologyConfronting Lemaitre-Tolman-Bondi Models with Observational Cosmology

The possibility that we live in a special place in the universe, close to the centre of a large void, seems an appealing alternative to the prevailing interpretation of the acceleration of the universe in terms of a LCDM model with a dominant dark energy component. In this paper we confront the asymptotically flat Lemaitre-Tolman-Bondi (LTB) models with a series of observations, from Type Ia Supernovae to Cosmic Microwave Background and Baryon Acoustic Oscillations data. We propose two concrete LTB models describing a local void in which the only arbitrary functions are the radial dependence of the matter density Omega_M and the Hubble expansion rate H. We find that all observations can be accommodated within 1 sigma, for our models with 4 or 5 independent parameters. The best fit models have a chi^2 very close to that of the LCDM model. We perform a simple Bayesian analysis and show that one cannot exclude the hypothesis that we live within a large local void of an otherwise Einstein-de Sitter model.

[ascl:1011.014] CO5BOLD: COnservative COde for the COmputation of COmpressible COnvection in a BOx of L Dimensions with l=2,3

CO5BOLD - nickname COBOLD - is the short form of "COnservative COde for the COmputation of COmpressible COnvection in a BOx of L Dimensions with l=2,3''.

It is used to model solar and stellar surface convection. For solar-type stars only a small fraction of the stellar surface layers are included in the computational domain. In the case of red supergiants the computational box contains the entire star. Recently, the model range has been extended to sub-stellar objects (brown dwarfs).

CO5BOLD solves the coupled non-linear equations of compressible hydrodynamics in an external gravity field together with non-local frequency-dependent radiation transport. Operator splitting is applied to solve the equations of hydrodynamics (including gravity), the radiative energy transfer (with a long-characteristics or a short-characteristics ray scheme), and possibly additional 3D (turbulent) diffusion in individual sub steps. The 3D hydrodynamics step is further simplified with directional splitting (usually). The 1D sub steps are performed with a Roe solver, accounting for an external gravity field and an arbitrary equation of state from a table.

The radiation transport is computed with either one of three modules:

  • MSrad module: It uses long characteristics. The lateral boundaries have to be periodic. Top and bottom can be closed or open ("solar module'').
  • LHDrad module: It uses long characteristics and is restricted to an equidistant grid and open boundaries at all surfaces (old "supergiant module'').
  • SHORTrad module: It uses short characteristics and is restricted to an equidistant grid and open boundaries at all surfaces (new "supergiant module'').

The code was supplemented with an (optional) MHD version [Schaffenberger et al. (2005)] that can treat magnetic fields. There are also modules for the formation and advection of dust available. The current version now contains the treatment of chemical reaction networks, mostly used for the formation of molecules [Wedemeyer-Böhm et al. (2005)], and hydrogen ionization [Leenaarts & Wedemeyer-Böhm (2005)], too.

CO5BOLD is written in Fortran90. The parallelization is done with OpenMP directives.

[ascl:1011.015] Geokerr: Computing Photon Orbits in a Kerr Spacetime

Relativistic radiative transfer problems require the calculation of photon trajectories in curved spacetime. Programmed in Fortran, Geokerr uses a novel technique for rapid and accurate calculation of null geodesics in the Kerr metric. The equations of motion from the Hamilton-Jacobi equation are reduced directly to Carlson's elliptic integrals, simplifying algebraic manipulations and allowing all coordinates to be computed semi-analytically for the first time.

[ascl:1011.016] Non-LTE Models and Theoretical Spectra of Accretion Disks in Active Galactic Nuclei. III. Integrated Spectra for Hydrogen-Helium Disks

We have constructed a grid of non-LTE disk models for a wide range of black hole mass and mass accretion rate, for several values of viscosity parameter alpha, and for two extreme values of the black hole spin: the maximum-rotation Kerr black hole, and the Schwarzschild (non-rotating) black hole. Our procedure calculates self-consistently the vertical structure of all disk annuli together with the radiation field, without any approximations imposed on the optical thickness of the disk, and without any ad hoc approximations to the behavior of the radiation intensity. The total spectrum of a disk is computed by summing the spectra of the individual annuli, taking into account the general relativistic transfer function. The grid covers nine values of the black hole mass between M = 1/8 and 32 billion solar masses with a two-fold increase of mass for each subsequent value; and eleven values of the mass accretion rate, each a power of 2 times 1 solar mass/year. The highest value of the accretion rate corresponds to 0.3 Eddington. We show the vertical structure of individual annuli within the set of accretion disk models, along with their local emergent flux, and discuss the internal physical self-consistency of the models. We then present the full disk-integrated spectra, and discuss a number of observationally interesting properties of the models, such as optical/ultraviolet colors, the behavior of the hydrogen Lyman limit region, polarization, and number of ionizing photons. Our calculations are far from definitive in terms of the input physics, but generally we find that our models exhibit rather red optical/UV colors. Flux discontinuities in the region of the hydrogen Lyman limit are only present in cool, low luminosity models, while hotter models exhibit blueshifted changes in spectral slope.

[ascl:1011.017] Occultation and Microlensing

Occultation and microlensing are different limits of the same phenomena of one body passing in front of another body. We derive a general exact analytic expression which describes both microlensing and occultation in the case of spherical bodies with a source of uniform brightness and a non-relativistic foreground body. We also compute numerically the case of a source with quadratic limb-darkening. In the limit that the gravitational deflection angle is comparable to the angular size of the foreground body, both microlensing and occultation occur as the objects align. Such events may be used to constrain the size ratio of the lens and source stars, the limb-darkening coefficients of the source star, and the surface gravity of the lens star (if the lens and source distances are known). Application of these results to microlensing during transits in binaries and giant-star microlensing are discussed. These results unify the microlensing and occultation limits and should be useful for rapid model fitting of microlensing, eclipse, and "microccultation" events.

[ascl:1011.018] Transit of a Spherical Planet of a Stellar Chromosphere which is Geometrically Thin

Transit light curves for stellar continua have only one minimum and a "U" shape. By contrast, transit curves for optically thin chromospheric emission lines can have a "W" shape because of stellar limb-brightening. We calculate light curves for an optically thin shell of emission and fit these models to time-resolved observations of Si IV absorption by the planet HD209458b. We find that the best fit Si IV absorption model has R_p,SIV/R_*= 0.34+0.07-0.12, similar to the Roche lobe of the planet. While the large radius is only at the limit of statistical significance, we develop formulae applicable to transits of all optically thin chromospheric emission lines.

[ascl:1011.019] FLY: MPI-2 High Resolution code for LSS Cosmological Simulations

Cosmological simulations of structures and galaxies formations have played a fundamental role in the study of the origin, formation and evolution of the Universe. These studies improved enormously with the use of supercomputers and parallel systems and, recently, grid based systems and Linux clusters. Now we present the new version of the tree N-body parallel code FLY that runs on a PC Linux Cluster using the one side communication paradigm MPI-2 and we show the performances obtained. FLY is included in the Computer Physics Communication Program Library. This new version was developed using the Linux Cluster of CINECA, an IBM Cluster with 1024 Intel Xeon Pentium IV 3.0 Ghz. The results show that it is possible to run a 64 Million particle simulation in less than 15 minutes for each timestep, and the code scalability with the number of processors is achieved. This lead us to propose FLY as a code to run very large N-Body simulations with more than $10^{9}$ particles with the higher resolution of a pure tree code.

[ascl:1011.020] VisIVO: Integrated Tools and Services for Large-Scale Astrophysical Visualization

VisIVO is an integrated suite of tools and services specifically designed for the Virtual Observatory. This suite constitutes a software framework for effective visual discovery in currently available (and next-generation) very large-scale astrophysical datasets. VisIVO consists of VisiVO Desktop - a stand alone application for interactive visualization on standard PCs, VisIVO Server - a grid-enabled platform for high performance visualization and VisIVO Web - a custom designed web portal supporting services based on the VisIVO Server functionality. The main characteristic of VisIVO is support for high-performance, multidimensional visualization of very large-scale astrophysical datasets. Users can obtain meaningful visualizations rapidly while preserving full and intuitive control of the relevant visualization parameters. This paper focuses on newly developed integrated tools in VisIVO Server allowing intuitive visual discovery with 3D views being created from data tables. VisIVO Server can be installed easily on any web server with a database repository. We discuss briefly aspects of our implementation of VisiVO Server on a computational grid and also outline the functionality of the services offered by VisIVO Web. Finally we conclude with a summary of our work and pointers to future developments.

[ascl:1011.021] GRALE: A genetic algorithm for the non-parametric inversion of strong lensing systems

We present a non-parametric technique to infer the projected-mass distribution of a gravitational lens system with multiple strong-lensed images. The technique involves a dynamic grid in the lens plane on which the mass distribution of the lens is approximated by a sum of basis functions, one per grid cell. We used the projected mass densities of Plummer spheres as basis functions. A genetic algorithm then determines the mass distribution of the lens by forcing images of a single source, projected back onto the source plane, to coincide as well as possible. Averaging several tens of solutions removes the random fluctuations that are introduced by the reproduction process of genomes in the genetic algorithm and highlights those features common to all solutions. Given the positions of the images and the redshifts of the sources and the lens, we show that the mass of a gravitational lens can be retrieved with an accuracy of a few percent and that, if the sources sufficiently cover the caustics, the mass distribution of the gravitational lens can also be reliably retrieved. A major advantage of the algorithm is that it makes full use of the information contained in the radial images, unlike methods that minimise the residuals of the lens equation, and is thus able to accurately reconstruct also the inner parts of the lens.

[ascl:1011.022] yt: A Multi-Code Analysis Toolkit for Astrophysical Simulation Data

yt is an open source, community-developed volumetric analysis and visualization toolkit. Originally designed for handling Enzo's (ascl:1010.072) structure adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) data, yt has been extended to work with numerous simulation methods and simulation codes including Orion, RAMSES (ascl:1011.007), and FLASH (ascl:1010.082). Analysis and visualization with yt are oriented around physically relevant quantities rather than quantities native to data representation on-disk or in-memory. yt can be used for projections, multivariate volume rendering, multi-dimensional histograms, halo finding, light cone generation and topologically-connected isocontour identification.

yt benefits from the contributions of a broad range of community members, and a full list of credits for the code can be found on the yt website or in the source repository.

[ascl:1011.023] HyRec: A Fast and Highly Accurate Primordial Hydrogen and Helium Recombination Code

We present a state-of-the-art primordial recombination code, HyRec, including all the physical effects that have been shown to significantly affect recombination. The computation of helium recombination includes simple analytic treatments of hydrogen continuum opacity in the He I 2 1P - 1 1S line, the He I] 2 3P - 1 1S line, and treats feedback between these lines within the on-the-spot approximation. Hydrogen recombination is computed using the effective multilevel atom method, virtually accounting for an infinite number of excited states. We account for two-photon transitions from 2s and higher levels as well as frequency diffusion in Lyman-alpha with a full radiative transfer calculation. We present a new method to evolve the radiation field simultaneously with the level populations and the free electron fraction. These computations are sped up by taking advantage of the particular sparseness pattern of the equations describing the radiative transfer. The computation time for a full recombination history is ~2 seconds. This makes our code well suited for inclusion in Monte Carlo Markov chains for cosmological parameter estimation from upcoming high-precision cosmic microwave background anisotropy measurements.

[ascl:1101.001] Second-order Tight-coupling Code

Prior to recombination photons, electrons, and atomic nuclei rapidly scattered and behaved, almost, like a single tightly-coupled photon-baryon plasma. In order to solve the cosmological perturbation equations during that time, Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) codes use the so-called tight-coupling approximation in which the problematic terms (i.e. the source of the stiffness) are expanded in inverse powers of the Thomson Opacity. Most codes only keep the terms linear in the inverse Thomson Opacity. We have developed a second-order tight-coupling code to test the validity of the usual first-order tight-coupling code. It is based on the publicly available code CAMB.

[ascl:1101.002] NDSPMHD Smoothed Particle Magnetohydrodynamics Code

This paper presents an overview and introduction to Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics and Magnetohydrodynamics in theory and in practice. Firstly, we give a basic grounding in the fundamentals of SPH, showing how the equations of motion and energy can be self-consistently derived from the density estimate. We then show how to interpret these equations using the basic SPH interpolation formulae and highlight the subtle difference in approach between SPH and other particle methods. In doing so, we also critique several `urban myths' regarding SPH, in particular the idea that one can simply increase the `neighbour number' more slowly than the total number of particles in order to obtain convergence. We also discuss the origin of numerical instabilities such as the pairing and tensile instabilities. Finally, we give practical advice on how to resolve three of the main issues with SPMHD: removing the tensile instability, formulating dissipative terms for MHD shocks and enforcing the divergence constraint on the particles, and we give the current status of developments in this area. Accompanying the paper is the first public release of the NDSPMHD SPH code, a 1, 2 and 3 dimensional code designed as a testbed for SPH/SPMHD algorithms that can be used to test many of the ideas and used to run all of the numerical examples contained in the paper.

[ascl:1101.003] IGMtransfer: Intergalactic Radiative Transfer Code

This document describes the publically available numerical code "IGMtransfer", capable of performing intergalactic radiative transfer (RT) of light in the vicinity of the Lyman alpha (Lya) line. Calculating the RT in a (possibly adaptively refined) grid of cells resulting from a cosmological simulation, the code returns 1) a "transmission function", showing how the intergalactic medium (IGM) affects the Lya line at a given redshift, and 2) the "average transmission" of the IGM, making it useful for studying the results of reionization simulations.

[ascl:1101.004] InterpMC: Caching and Interpolated Likelihoods -- Accelerating Cosmological Monte Carlo Markov Chains

We describe a novel approach to accelerating Monte Carlo Markov Chains. Our focus is cosmological parameter estimation, but the algorithm is applicable to any problem for which the likelihood surface is a smooth function of the free parameters and computationally expensive to evaluate. We generate a high-order interpolating polynomial for the log-likelihood using the first points gathered by the Markov chains as a training set. This polynomial then accurately computes the majority of the likelihoods needed in the latter parts of the chains. We implement a simple version of this algorithm as a patch (InterpMC) to CosmoMC and show that it accelerates parameter estimatation by a factor of between two and four for well-converged chains. The current code is primarily intended as a "proof of concept", and we argue that there is considerable room for further performance gains. Unlike other approaches to accelerating parameter fits, we make no use of precomputed training sets or special choices of variables, and InterpMC is almost entirely transparent to the user.

[ascl:1101.005] CMHOG: Code for Ideal Compressible Hydrodynamics

CMHOG (Connection Machine Higher Order Godunov) is a code for ideal compressible hydrodynamics based on the Lagrange-plus-remap version of the piecewise parabolic method (PPM) of Colella & Woodward (1984, J. Comp. Phys., 74, 1). It works in one-, two- or three-dimensional Cartesian coordinates with either an adiabatic or isothermal equation of state. A limited amount of extra physics has been added using operator splitting, including optically-thin radiative cooling, and chemistry for combustion simulations.

[ascl:1101.006] NIRVANA: A Numerical Tool for Astrophysical Gas Dynamics

The NIRVANA code is capable of the simulation of multi-scale self-gravitational magnetohydrodynamics problems in three space dimensions employing the technique of adaptive mesh refinement. The building blocks of NIRVANA are (i) a fully conservative, divergence-free Godunov-type central scheme for the solution of the equations of magnetohydrodynamics; (ii) a block-structured mesh refinement algorithm which automatically adds and removes elementary grid blocks whenever necessary to achieve adequate resolution and; (iii) an adaptive mesh Poisson solver based on multigrid philosophy which incorporates the so-called elliptic matching condition to keep the gradient of the gravitational potential continous at fine/coarse mesh interfaces.

[ascl:1101.007] Galaxia: A Code to Generate a Synthetic Survey of the Milky Way

We present here a fast code for creating a synthetic survey of the Milky Way. Given one or more color-magnitude bounds, a survey size and geometry, the code returns a catalog of stars in accordance with a given model of the Milky Way. The model can be specified by a set of density distributions or as an N-body realization. We provide fast and efficient algorithms for sampling both types of models. As compared to earlier sampling schemes which generate stars at specified locations along a line of sight, our scheme can generate a continuous and smooth distribution of stars over any given volume. The code is quite general and flexible and can accept input in the form of a star formation rate, age metallicity relation, age velocity dispersion relation and analytic density distribution functions. Theoretical isochrones are then used to generate a catalog of stars and support is available for a wide range of photometric bands. As a concrete example we implement the Besancon Milky Way model for the disc. For the stellar halo we employ the simulated stellar halo N-body models of Bullock & Johnston (2005). In order to sample N-body models, we present a scheme that disperses the stars spawned by an N-body particle, in such a way that the phase space density of the spawned stars is consistent with that of the N-body particles. The code is ideally suited to generating synthetic data sets that mimic near future wide area surveys such as GAIA, LSST and HERMES. As an application we study the prospect of identifying structures in the stellar halo with a simulated GAIA survey.

[ascl:1101.008] CRASH: A Block-Adaptive-Mesh Code for Radiative Shock Hydrodynamics

We describe the CRASH (Center for Radiative Shock Hydrodynamics) code, a block adaptive mesh code for multi-material radiation hydrodynamics. The implementation solves the radiation diffusion model with the gray or multigroup method and uses a flux limited diffusion approximation to recover the free-streaming limit. The electrons and ions are allowed to have different temperatures and we include a flux limited electron heat conduction. The radiation hydrodynamic equations are solved in the Eulerian frame by means of a conservative finite volume discretization in either one, two, or three-dimensional slab geometry or in two-dimensional cylindrical symmetry. An operator split method is used to solve these equations in three substeps: (1) solve the hydrodynamic equations with shock-capturing schemes, (2) a linear advection of the radiation in frequency-logarithm space, and (3) an implicit solve of the stiff radiation diffusion, heat conduction, and energy exchange. We present a suite of verification test problems to demonstrate the accuracy and performance of the algorithms. The CRASH code is an extension of the Block-Adaptive Tree Solarwind Roe Upwind Scheme (BATS-R-US) code with this new radiation transfer and heat conduction library and equation-of-state and multigroup opacity solvers. Both CRASH and BATS-R-US are part of the publicly available Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF).

[ascl:1101.009] MasQU: Finite Differences on Masked Irregular Stokes Q,U Grids

The detection of B-mode polarization in the CMB is one of the most important outstanding tests of inflationary cosmology. One of the necessary steps for extracting polarization information in the CMB is reducing contamination from so-called "ambiguous modes" on a masked sky, which contain leakage from the larger E-mode signal. This can be achieved by utilising derivative operators on the real-space Stokes Q and U parameters. This paper presents an algorithm and a software package to perform this procedure on the nearly full sky, i.e., with projects such as the Planck Surveyor and future satellites in mind; in particular, the package can perform finite differences on masked, irregular grids and is applied to a semi-regular spherical pixellization, the HEALPix grid. The formalism reduces to the known finite-difference solutions in the case of a regular grid. We quantify full-sky improvements on the possible bounds on the CMB B-mode signal. We find that in the specific case of E and B-mode separation, there exists a "pole problem" in our formalism which produces signal contamination at very low multipoles l. Several solutions to the "pole problem" are presented; one proposed solution facilitates a calculation of a general Gaussian quadrature scheme, which finds application in calculating accurate harmonic coefficients on the HEALPix sphere. Nevertheless, on a masked sphere the software represents a considerable reduction in B-mode noise from limited sky coverage.

[ascl:1101.010] TOPCAT: Tool for OPerations on Catalogues And Tables

TOPCAT is an interactive graphical viewer and editor for tabular data. Its aim is to provide most of the facilities that astronomers need for analysis and manipulation of source catalogues and other tables, though it can be used for non-astronomical data as well. It understands a number of different astronomically important formats (including FITS and VOTable) and more formats can be added.

It offers a variety of ways to view and analyse tables, including a browser for the cell data themselves, viewers for information about table and column metadata, and facilities for 1-, 2-, 3- and higher-dimensional visualisation, calculating statistics and joining tables using flexible matching algorithms. Using a powerful and extensible Java-based expression language new columns can be defined and row subsets selected for separate analysis. Table data and metadata can be edited and the resulting modified table can be written out in a wide range of output formats.

It is a stand-alone application which works quite happily with no network connection. However, because it uses Virtual Observatory (VO) standards, it can cooperate smoothly with other tools in the VO world and beyond, such as VODesktop, Aladin and ds9. Between 2006 and 2009 TOPCAT was developed within the AstroGrid project, and is offered as part of a standard suite of applications on the AstroGrid web site, where you can find information on several other VO tools.

The program is written in pure Java and available under the GNU General Public Licence. It has been developed in the UK within the Starlink and AstroGrid projects, and under PPARC and STFC grants. Its underlying table processing facilities are provided by STIL.

[ascl:1102.001] N-MODY: A Code for Collisionless N-body Simulations in Modified Newtonian Dynamics

N-MODY is a parallel particle-mesh code for collisionless N-body simulations in modified Newtonian dynamics (MOND). N-MODY is based on a numerical potential solver in spherical coordinates that solves the non-linear MOND field equation, and is ideally suited to simulate isolated stellar systems. N-MODY can be used also to compute the MOND potential of arbitrary static density distributions. A few applications of N-MODY indicate that some astrophysically relevant dynamical processes are profoundly different in MOND and in Newtonian gravity with dark matter.

[ascl:1102.002] PBL: Particle-Based Lensing for Gravitational Lensing Mass Reconstructions of Galaxy Clusters

We present Particle-Based Lensing (PBL), a new technique for gravitational lensing mass reconstructions of galaxy clusters. Traditionally, most methods have employed either a finite inversion or gridding to turn observational lensed galaxy ellipticities into an estimate of the surface mass density of a galaxy cluster. We approach the problem from a different perspective, motivated by the success of multi-scale analysis in smoothed particle hydrodynamics. In PBL, we treat each of the lensed galaxies as a particle and then reconstruct the potential by smoothing over a local kernel with variable smoothing scale. In this way, we can tune a reconstruction to produce constant signal-noise throughout, and maximally exploit regions of high information density.

PBL is designed to include all lensing observables, including multiple image positions and fluxes from strong lensing, as well as weak lensing signals including shear and flexion. In this paper, however, we describe a shear-only reconstruction, and apply the method to several test cases, including simulated lensing clusters, as well as the well-studied ``Bullet Cluster'' (1E0657-56). In the former cases, we show that PBL is better able to identify cusps and substructures than are grid-based reconstructions, and in the latter case, we show that PBL is able to identify substructure in the Bullet Cluster without even exploiting strong lensing measurements.

[ascl:1102.003] GRAVLENS: Computational Methods for Gravitational Lensing

Modern applications of strong gravitational lensing require the ability to use precise and varied observational data to constrain complex lens models. Two sets of computational methods for lensing calculations are discussed. The first is a new algorithm for solving the lens equation for general mass distributions. This algorithm makes it possible to apply arbitrarily complicated models to observed lenses. The second is an evaluation of techniques for using observational data including positions, fluxes, and time delays of point-like images, as well as maps of extended images, to constrain models of strong lenses. The techniques presented here are implemented in a flexible and user-friendly software package called gravlens, which is made available to the community.

[ascl:1102.004] LENSTOOL: A Gravitational Lensing Software for Modeling Mass Distribution of Galaxies and Clusters (strong and weak regime)

We describe a procedure for modelling strong lensing galaxy clusters with parametric methods, and to rank models quantitatively using the Bayesian evidence. We use a publicly available Markov chain Monte-Carlo (MCMC) sampler ('Bayesys'), allowing us to avoid local minima in the likelihood functions. To illustrate the power of the MCMC technique, we simulate three clusters of galaxies, each composed of a cluster-scale halo and a set of perturbing galaxy-scale subhalos. We ray-trace three light beams through each model to produce a catalogue of multiple images, and then use the MCMC sampler to recover the model parameters in the three different lensing configurations. We find that, for typical Hubble Space Telescope (HST)-quality imaging data, the total mass in the Einstein radius is recovered with ~1-5% error according to the considered lensing configuration. However, we find that the mass of the galaxies is strongly degenerated with the cluster mass when no multiple images appear in the cluster centre. The mass of the galaxies is generally recovered with a 20% error, largely due to the poorly constrained cut-off radius. Finally, we describe how to rank models quantitatively using the Bayesian evidence. We confirm the ability of strong lensing to constrain the mass profile in the central region of galaxy clusters in this way. Ultimately, such a method applied to strong lensing clusters with a very large number of multiple images may provide unique geometrical constraints on cosmology.

[ascl:1102.005] MRLENS: Multi-Resolution methods for gravitational LENSing

The MRLENS package offers a new method for the reconstruction of weak lensing mass maps. It uses the multiscale entropy concept, which is based on wavelets, and the False Discovery Rate which allows us to derive robust detection levels in wavelet space. We show that this new restoration approach outperforms several standard techniques currently used for weak shear mass reconstruction. This method can also be used to separate E and B modes in the shear field, and thus test for the presence of residual systematic effects. We concentrate on large blind cosmic shear surveys, and illustrate our results using simulated shear maps derived from N-Body Lambda-CDM simulations with added noise corresponding to both ground-based and space-based observations.

[ascl:1102.006] NBODY Codes: Numerical Simulations of Many-body (N-body) Gravitational Interactions

I review the development of direct N-body codes at Cambridge over nearly 40 years, highlighting the main stepping stones. The first code (NBODY1) was based on the simple concepts of a force polynomial combined with individual time steps, where numerical problems due to close encounters were avoided by a softened potential. Fortuitously, the elegant Kustaanheimo-Stiefel two-body regularization soon permitted small star clusters to be studied (NBODY3). Subsequent extensions to unperturbed three-body and four-body regularization proved beneficial in dealing with multiple interactions. Investigations of larger systems became possible with the Ahmad-Cohen neighbor scheme which was used more than 20 years ago for expanding universe models of 4000 galaxies (NBODY2). Combining the neighbor scheme with the regularization procedures enabled more realistic star clusters to be considered (NBODY5). After a period of simulations with no apparent technical progress, chain regularization replaced the treatment of compact subsystems (NBODY3, NBODY5). More recently, the Hermite integration method provided a major advance and has been implemented on the special-purpose HARP computers (NBODY4) together with an alternative version for workstations and supercomputers (NBODY6). These codes also include a variety of algorithms for stellar evolution based on fast lookup functions. The treatment of primordial binaries contains efficient procedures for chaotic two-body motion as well as tidal circularization, and special attention is paid to hierarchical systems and their stability. This family of N-body codes constitutes a powerful tool for dynamical simulations which is freely available to the astronomical community, and the massive effort owes much to collaborators.

[ascl:1102.007] PixeLens: A Portable Modeler of Lensed Quasars

We introduce and implement two novel ideas for modeling lensed quasars. The first is to require different lenses to agree about H0. This means that some models for one lens can be ruled out by data on a different lens. We explain using two worked examples. One example models 1115+080 and 1608+656 (time-delay quadruple systems) and 1933+503 (a prospective time-delay system) all together, yielding time-delay predictions for the third lens and a 90% confidence estimate of H0-1=14.6+9.4-1.7 Gyr (H0=67+9-26 km s-1 Mpc-1) assuming ΩM=0.3 and ΩΛ=0.7. The other example models the time-delay doubles 1520+530, 1600+434, 1830-211, and 2149-275, which gives H0-1=14.5+3.3-1.5 Gyr (H0=67+8-13 km s-1 Mpc-1). Our second idea is to write the modeling software as a highly interactive Java applet, which can be used both for coarse-grained results inside a browser and for fine-grained results on a workstation. Several obstacles come up in trying to implement a numerically intensive method thus, but we overcome them.

[ascl:1102.008] PMFAST: Towards Optimal Parallel PM N-body Codes

The parallel PM N-body code PMFAST is cost-effective and memory-efficient. PMFAST is based on a two-level mesh gravity solver where the gravitational forces are separated into long and short range components. The decomposition scheme minimizes communication costs and allows tolerance for slow networks. The code approaches optimality in several dimensions. The force computations are local and exploit highly optimized vendor FFT libraries. It features minimal memory overhead, with the particle positions and velocities being the main cost. The code features support for distributed and shared memory parallelization through the use of MPI and OpenMP, respectively.

The current release version uses two grid levels on a slab decomposition, with periodic boundary conditions for cosmological applications. Open boundary conditions could be added with little computational overhead. Timing information and results from a recent cosmological production run of the code using a 3712^3 mesh with 6.4 x 10^9 particles are available.

[ascl:1102.009] AHF: Amiga's Halo Finder

Cosmological simulations are the key tool for investigating the different processes involved in the formation of the universe from small initial density perturbations to galaxies and clusters of galaxies observed today. The identification and analysis of bound objects, halos, is one of the most important steps in drawing useful physical information from simulations. In the advent of larger and larger simulations, a reliable and parallel halo finder, able to cope with the ever-increasing data files, is a must. In this work we present the freely available MPI parallel halo finder AHF. We provide a description of the algorithm and the strategy followed to handle large simulation data. We also describe the parameters a user may choose in order to influence the process of halo finding, as well as pointing out which parameters are crucial to ensure untainted results from the parallel approach. Furthermore, we demonstrate the ability of AHF to scale to high-resolution simulations.

[ascl:1102.010] SEREN: A SPH code for star and planet formation simulations

SEREN is an astrophysical Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics code designed to investigate star and planet formation problems using self-gravitating hydrodynamics simulations of molecular clouds, star-forming cores, and protostellar disks.

SEREN is written in Fortran 95/2003 with a modular philosophy for adding features into the code. Each feature can be easily activated or deactivated by way of setting options in the Makefile before compiling the code. This has the added benefit of allowing unwanted features to be removed at the compilation stage resulting in a smaller and faster executable program. SEREN is written with OpenMP directives to allow parallelization on shared-memory architecture.

[ascl:1102.011] Identikit 2: An Algorithm for Reconstructing Galactic Collisions

Using a combination of self-consistent and test-particle techniques, Identikit 1 provided a way to vary the initial geometry of a galactic collision and instantly visualize the outcome. Identikit 2 uses the same techniques to define a mapping from the current morphology and kinematics of a tidal encounter back to the initial conditions. By requiring that various regions along a tidal feature all originate from a single disc with a unique orientation, this mapping can be used to derive the initial collision geometry. In addition, Identikit 2 offers a robust way to measure how well a particular model reproduces the morphology and kinematics of a pair of interacting galaxies. A set of eight self-consistent simulations is used to demonstrate the algorithm's ability to search a ten-dimensional parameter space and find near-optimal matches; all eight systems are successfully reconstructed.

[ascl:1102.012] CPROPS: Bias-free Measurement of Giant Molecular Cloud Properties

CPROPS, written in IDL, processes FITS data cubes containing molecular line emission and returns the properties of molecular clouds contained within it. Without corrections for the effects of beam convolution and sensitivity to GMC properties, the resulting properties may be severely biased. This is particularly true for extragalactic observations, where resolution and sensitivity effects often bias measured values by 40% or more. We correct for finite spatial and spectral resolutions with a simple deconvolution and we correct for sensitivity biases by extrapolating properties of a GMC to those we would expect to measure with perfect sensitivity. The resulting method recovers the properties of a GMC to within 10% over a large range of resolutions and sensitivities, provided the clouds are marginally resolved with a peak signal-to-noise ratio greater than 10. We note that interferometers systematically underestimate cloud properties, particularly the flux from a cloud. The degree of bias depends on the sensitivity of the observations and the (u,v) coverage of the observations. In the Appendix to the paper we present a conservative, new decomposition algorithm for identifying GMCs in molecular-line observations. This algorithm treats the data in physical rather than observational units, does not produce spurious clouds in the presence of noise, and is sensitive to a range of morphologies. As a result, the output of this decomposition should be directly comparable among disparate data sets.

The CPROPS package contains within it a distribution of the CLUMPFIND code written by Jonathan Williams and described in Williams, de Geus, and Blitz(1994). The package is available as a stand alone package. If you make use of the CLUMPFIND functionality in the CPROPS package for a publication, please cite Jonathan's original article.

[ascl:1102.013] Cactus: HPC infrastructure and programming tools

Cactus provides computational scientists and engineers with a collaborative, modular and portable programming environment for parallel high performance computing. Cactus can make use of many other technologies for HPC, such as Samrai, HDF5, PETSc and PAPI, and several application domains such as numerical relativity, computational fluid dynamics and quantum gravity are developing open community toolkits for Cactus.

[ascl:1102.014] Einstein Toolkit for Relativistic Astrophysics

The Einstein Toolkit is a collection of software components and tools for simulating and analyzing general relativistic astrophysical systems. Such systems include gravitational wave space-times, collisions of compact objects such as black holes or neutron stars, accretion onto compact objects, core collapse supernovae and Gamma-Ray Bursts.

The Einstein Toolkit builds on numerous software efforts in the numerical relativity community including CactusEinstein, Whisky, and Carpet. The Einstein Toolkit currently uses the Cactus Framework as the underlying computational infrastructure that provides large-scale parallelization, general computational components, and a model for collaborative, portable code development.

[ascl:1102.015] PMFASTIC: Initial condition generator for PMFAST

PMFASTIC is a parallel initial condition generator, a slab decomposition Fortran 90 parallel cosmological initial condition generator for use with PMFAST. Files required for generating initial dark matter particle distributions and instructions are included, however one would require CMBFAST to create alternative transfer functions.

[ascl:1102.016] HERACLES: 3D Hydrodynamical Code to Simulate Astrophysical Fluid Flows

HERACLES is a 3D hydrodynamical code used to simulate astrophysical fluid flows. It uses a finite volume method on fixed grids to solve the equations of hydrodynamics, MHD, radiative transfer and gravity. This software is developed at the Service d'Astrophysique, CEA/Saclay as part of the COAST project and is registered under the CeCILL license. HERACLES simulates astrophysical fluid flows using a grid based Eulerian finite volume Godunov method. It is capable of simulating pure hydrodynamical flows, magneto-hydrodynamic flows, radiation hydrodynamic flows (using either flux limited diffusion or the M1 moment method), self-gravitating flows using a Poisson solver or all of the above. HERACLES uses cartesian, spherical and cylindrical grids.

[ascl:1102.017] FARGO: Fast Advection in Rotating Gaseous Objects

FARGO is an efficient and simple modification of the standard transport algorithm used in explicit eulerian fixed polar grid codes, aimed at getting rid of the average azimuthal velocity when applying the Courant condition. This results in a much larger timestep than the usual procedure, and it is particularly well-suited to the description of a Keplerian disk where one is traditionally limited by the very demanding Courant condition on the fast orbital motion at the inner boundary. In this modified algorithm, the timestep is limited by the perturbed velocity and by the shear arising from the differential rotation. The speed-up resulting from the use of the FARGO algorithm is problem dependent. In the example presented in the code paper below, which shows the evolution of a Jupiter sized protoplanet embedded in a minimum mass protoplanetary nebula, the FARGO algorithm is about an order of magnitude faster than a traditional transport scheme, with a much smaller numerical diffusivity.

[ascl:1102.018] Karma: Visualisation Test-Bed Toolkit

Karma is a toolkit for interprocess communications, authentication, encryption, graphics display, user interface and manipulating the Karma network data structure. It contains KarmaLib (the structured libraries and API) and a large number of modules (applications) to perform many standard tasks. A suite of visualisation tools are distributed with the library.

[ascl:1102.019] HOP: A Group-finding Algorithm for N-body Simulations

We describe a new method (HOP) for identifying groups of particles in N-body simulations. Having assigned to every particle an estimate of its local density, we associate each particle with the densest of the Nh particles nearest to it. Repeating this process allows us to trace a path, within the particle set itself, from each particle in the direction of increasing density. The path ends when it reaches a particle that is its own densest neighbor; all particles reaching the same such particle are identified as a group. Combined with an adaptive smoothing kernel for finding the densities, this method is spatially adaptive, coordinate-free, and numerically straight-forward. One can proceed to process the output by truncating groups at a particular density contour and combining groups that share a (possibly different) density contour. While the resulting algorithm has several user-chosen parameters, we show that the results are insensitive to most of these, the exception being the outer density cutoff of the groups.

[ascl:1102.020] SKID: Finding Gravitationally Bound Groups in N-body Simulations

SKID finds gravitationally bound groups in N-body simulations. The SKID program will group different types of particles depending on the type of input binary file. This could be either dark matter particles, gas particles, star particles or gas and star particles depending on what is in the input tipsy binary file. Once groups with at least a certain minimum number of members have been determined, SKID will remove particles which are not bound to the group. SKID must use the original positions of all the particles to determine whether or not particles are bound. This procedure which we call unbinding, is again dependent on the type of grouping we are dealing with. There are two cases, one for dark matter only or star particles only (case 1 unbinding), the other for inputs including gas (also stars in a dark matter environment this is case 2 unbinding).

Skid version 1.3 is a much improved version of the old denmax-1.1 version. The new name was given to avoid confusion with the DENMAX program of Gelb & Bertschinger, and although it is based on the same idea it represents a substantial evolution in the method.

[ascl:1102.021] DIRT: Dust InfraRed Toolbox

DIRT is a Java applet for modelling astrophysical processes in circumstellar dust shells around young and evolved stars. With DIRT, you can select and display over 500,000 pre-run model spectral energy distributions (SEDs), find the best-fit model to your data set, and account for beam size in model fitting. DIRT also allows you to manipulate data and models with an interactive viewer, display gas and dust density and temperature profiles, and display model intensity profiles at various wavelengths.

[ascl:1102.022] PDRT: Photo Dissociation Region Toolbox

Ultraviolet photons from O and B stars strongly influence the structure and emission spectra of the interstellar medium. The UV photons energetic enough to ionize hydrogen (hν > 13.6 eV) will create the H II region around the star, but lower energy UV photons escape. These far-UV photons (6 eV < hν < 13.6 eV) are still energetic enough to photodissociate molecules and to ionize low ionization-potential atoms such as carbon, silicon, and sulfur. They thus create a photodissociation region (PDR) just outside the H II region. In aggregate, these PDRs dominates the heating and cooling of the neutral interstellar medium.

As part of the Web Infrared Tool Shed (WITS) we have developed a web tool, called the PDR Toolbox, that allows users to determine the physical parameters of a PDR from a set of spectral line observations. Typical observations of both Galactic and extragalactic PDRs come from ground-based millimeter and submillimeter telescopes such as CARMA or the CSO, or space-based telescopes such as Spitzer, ISO, SOFIA, and Herschel. Given a set of observations of spectral line intensities, PDR Toolbox will compute best-fit FUV incident intensity and cloud density based on our published models of PDR emission.

[ascl:1102.023] 21cmFAST: A Fast, Semi-Numerical Simulation of the High-Redshift 21-cm Signal

21cmFAST is a powerful semi-numeric modeling tool designed to efficiently simulate the cosmological 21-cm signal. The code generates 3D realizations of evolved density, ionization, peculiar velocity, and spin temperature fields, which it then combines to compute the 21-cm brightness temperature. Although the physical processes are treated with approximate methods, the results were compared to a state-of-the-art large-scale hydrodynamic simulation, and the findings indicate good agreement on scales pertinent to the upcoming observations (>~ 1 Mpc). The power spectra from 21cmFAST agree with those generated from the numerical simulation to within 10s of percent, down to the Nyquist frequency. Results were shown from a 1 Gpc simulation which tracks the cosmic 21-cm signal down from z=250, highlighting the various interesting epochs. Depending on the desired resolution, 21cmFAST can compute a redshift realization on a single processor in just a few minutes. The code is fast, efficient, customizable and publicly available, making it a useful tool for 21-cm parameter studies.

[ascl:1102.024] DiFX2: A more flexible, efficient, robust and powerful software correlator

Software correlation, where a correlation algorithm written in a high-level language such as C++ is run on commodity computer hardware, has become increasingly attractive for small to medium sized and/or bandwidth constrained radio interferometers. In particular, many long baseline arrays (which typically have fewer than 20 elements and are restricted in observing bandwidth by costly recording hardware and media) have utilized software correlators for rapid, cost-effective correlator upgrades to allow compatibility with new, wider bandwidth recording systems and improve correlator flexibility. The DiFX correlator, made publicly available in 2007, has been a popular choice in such upgrades and is now used for production correlation by a number of observatories and research groups worldwide. Here we describe the evolution in the capabilities of the DiFX correlator over the past three years, including a number of new capabilities, substantial performance improvements, and a large amount of supporting infrastructure to ease use of the code. New capabilities include the ability to correlate a large number of phase centers in a single correlation pass, the extraction of phase calibration tones, correlation of disparate but overlapping sub-bands, the production of rapidly sampled filterbank and kurtosis data at minimal cost, and many more. The latest version of the code is at least 15% faster than the original, and in certain situations many times this value. Finally, we also present detailed test results validating the correctness of the new code.

[ascl:1102.025] LensPix: Fast MPI full sky transforms for HEALPix

Modelling of the weak lensing of the CMB will be crucial to obtain correct cosmological parameter constraints from forthcoming precision CMB anisotropy observations. The lensing affects the power spectrum as well as inducing non-Gaussianities. We discuss the simulation of full sky CMB maps in the weak lensing approximation and describe a fast numerical code. The series expansion in the deflection angle cannot be used to simulate accurate CMB maps, so a pixel remapping must be used. For parameter estimation accounting for the change in the power spectrum but assuming Gaussianity is sufficient to obtain accurate results up to Planck sensitivity using current tools. A fuller analysis may be required to obtain accurate error estimates and for more sensitive observations. We demonstrate a simple full sky simulation and subsequent parameter estimation at Planck-like sensitivity.

[ascl:1102.026] CAMB: Code for Anisotropies in the Microwave Background

We present a fully covariant and gauge-invariant calculation of the evolution of anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation. We use the physically appealing covariant approach to cosmological perturbations, which ensures that all variables are gauge-invariant and have a clear physical interpretation. We derive the complete set of frame-independent, linearised equations describing the (Boltzmann) evolution of anisotropy and inhomogeneity in an almost Friedmann-Robertson-Walker (FRW) cold dark matter (CDM) universe. These equations include the contributions of scalar, vector and tensor modes in a unified manner. Frame-independent equations for scalar and tensor perturbations, which are valid for any value of the background curvature, are obtained straightforwardly from the complete set of equations. We discuss the scalar equations in detail, including the integral solution and relation with the line of sight approach, analytic solutions in the early radiation dominated era, and the numerical solution in the standard CDM model. Our results confirm those obtained by other groups, who have worked carefully with non-covariant methods in specific gauges, but are derived here in a completely transparent fashion.

[ascl:1102.027] ZENO: N-body and SPH Simulation Codes

The ZENO software package integrates N-body and SPH simulation codes with a large array of programs to generate initial conditions and analyze numerical simulations. Written in C, the ZENO system is portable between Mac, Linux, and Unix platforms. It is in active use at the Institute for Astronomy (IfA), at NRAO, and possibly elsewhere.

Zeno programs can perform a wide range of simulation and analysis tasks. While many of these programs were first created for specific projects, they embody algorithms of general applicability and embrace a modular design strategy, so existing code is easily applied to new tasks. Major elements of the system include structured data file utilities facilitate basic operations on binary data, including import/export of ZENO data to other systems; snapshot generation routines to create particle distributions with various properties; systems with user-specified density profiles can be realized in collisionless or gaseous form; multiple spherical and disk components may be set up in mutual equilibrium; and snapshot manipulation routines permit the user to sift, sort, and combine particle arrays, translate and rotate particle configurations, and assign new values to data fields associated with each particle.

Simulation codes include both pure N-body and combined N-body/SPH programs. Pure N-body codes are available in both uniprocessor and parallel versions. SPH codes offer a wide range of options for gas physics, including isothermal, adiabatic, and radiating models. Snapshot analysis programs calculate temporal averages, evaluate particle statistics, measure shapes and density profiles, compute kinematic properties, and identify and track objects in particle distributions. Visualization programs generate interactive displays and produce still images and videos of particle distributions; the user may specify arbitrary color schemes and viewing transformations.

[ascl:1102.028] ZEUS-MP/2: Computational Fluid Dynamics Code

ZEUS-MP is a multiphysics, massively parallel, message-passing implementation of the ZEUS code. ZEUS-MP offers an MHD algorithm that is better suited for multidimensional flows than the ZEUS-2D module by virtue of modifications to the method of characteristics scheme first suggested by Hawley & Stone. This MHD module is shown to compare quite favorably to the TVD scheme described by Ryu et al. ZEUS-MP is the first publicly available ZEUS code to allow the advection of multiple chemical (or nuclear) species. Radiation hydrodynamic simulations are enabled via an implicit flux-limited radiation diffusion (FLD) module. The hydrodynamic, MHD, and FLD modules can be used, singly or in concert, in one, two, or three space dimensions. In addition, so-called 1.5D and 2.5D grids, in which the "half-D'' denotes a symmetry axis along which a constant but nonzero value of velocity or magnetic field is evolved, are supported. Self-gravity can be included either through the assumption of a GM/r potential or through a solution of Poisson's equation using one of three linear solver packages (conjugate gradient, multigrid, and FFT) provided for that purpose. Point-mass potentials are also supported.

Because ZEUS-MP is designed for large simulations on parallel computing platforms, considerable attention is paid to the parallel performance characteristics of each module in the code. Strong-scaling tests involving pure hydrodynamics (with and without self-gravity), MHD, and RHD are performed in which large problems (2563 zones) are distributed among as many as 1024 processors of an IBM SP3. Parallel efficiency is a strong function of the amount of communication required between processors in a given algorithm, but all modules are shown to scale well on up to 1024 processors for the chosen fixed problem size.

[ascl:1103.001] Difmap: Synthesis Imaging of Visibility Data

Difmap is a program developed for synthesis imaging of visibility data from interferometer arrays of radio telescopes world-wide. Its prime advantages over traditional packages are its emphasis on interactive processing, speed, and the use of Difference mapping techniques.

[ascl:1103.002] PGPLOT: Device-independent Graphics Package for Simple Scientific Graphs

The PGPLOT Graphics Subroutine Library is a Fortran- or C-callable, device-independent graphics package for making simple scientific graphs. It is intended for making graphical images of publication quality with minimum effort on the part of the user. For most applications, the program can be device-independent, and the output can be directed to the appropriate device at run time.

The PGPLOT library consists of two major parts: a device-independent part and a set of device-dependent "device handler" subroutines for output on various terminals, image displays, dot-matrix printers, laser printers, and pen plotters. Common file formats supported include PostScript and GIF.

PGPLOT itself is written mostly in standard Fortran-77, with a few non-standard, system-dependent subroutines. PGPLOT subroutines can be called directly from a Fortran-77 or Fortran-90 program. A C binding library (cpgplot) and header file (cpgplot.h) are provided that allow PGPLOT to be called from a C or C++ program; the binding library handles conversion between C and Fortran argument-passing conventions.

[ascl:1103.003] S2PLOT: Three-dimensional (3D) Plotting Library

We present a new, three-dimensional (3D) plotting library with advanced features, and support for standard and enhanced display devices. The library - S2PLOT - is written in C and can be used by C, C++ and FORTRAN programs on GNU/Linux and Apple/OSX systems. S2PLOT draws objects in a 3D (x,y,z) Cartesian space and the user interactively controls how this space is rendered at run time. With a PGPLOT inspired interface, S2PLOT provides astronomers with elegant techniques for displaying and exploring 3D data sets directly from their program code, and the potential to use stereoscopic and dome display devices. The S2PLOT architecture supports dynamic geometry and can be used to plot time-evolving data sets, such as might be produced by simulation codes. In this paper, we introduce S2PLOT to the astronomical community, describe its potential applications, and present some example uses of the library.

[ascl:1103.004] SPLASH: Interactive Visualization Tool for Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics Simulations

SPLASH (formerly SUPERSPHPLOT) visualizes output from (astrophysical) simulations using the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) method in one, two and three dimensions. Written in Fortran 90, it uses the PGPLOT graphics subroutine library for plotting. It is based around a command-line menu structure but utilizes the interactive capabilities of PGPLOT to manipulate data interactively in the plotting window. SPLASH is fully interactive; visualizations can be changed rapidly at the touch of a button (e.g. zooming, rotating, shifting cross section positions etc). Data is read directly from the code dump format giving rapid access to results and the visualization is advanced forwards and backwards through timesteps by single keystrokes. SPLASH uses the SPH kernel to render plots of not only density but other physical quantities, giving a smooth representation of the data.

[ascl:1103.005] Splotch: Ray Tracer to Visualize SPH Simulations

Splotch is a light and fast, publicly available, ray-tracer software tool which supports the effective visualization of cosmological simulations data. The algorithm it relies on is designed to deal with point-like data, optimizing the ray-tracing calculation by ordering the particles as a function of their 'depth', defined as a function of one of the coordinates or other associated parameters. Realistic three-dimensional impressions are reached through a composition of the final colour in each pixel properly calculating emission and absorption of individual volume elements.

[ascl:1103.006] GLESP 2.0: Gauss-Legendre Sky Pixelization for CMB Analysis

GLESP is a pixelization scheme for the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation maps. This scheme is based on the Gauss-Legendre polynomials zeros and allows one to create strict orthogonal expansion of the map.

[ascl:1103.007] VisIt: Interactive Parallel Visualization and Graphical Analysis Tool

VisIt is a free interactive parallel visualization and graphical analysis tool for viewing scientific data on Unix and PC platforms. Users can quickly generate visualizations from their data, animate them through time, manipulate them, and save the resulting images for presentations. VisIt contains a rich set of visualization features so that you can view your data in a variety of ways. It can be used to visualize scalar and vector fields defined on two- and three-dimensional (2D and 3D) structured and unstructured meshes. VisIt was designed to handle very large data set sizes in the terascale range and yet can also handle small data sets in the kilobyte range. See the table below for more details about the tool’s features.

VisIt was developed by the Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Simulation and Computing Initiative (ASCI) to visualize and analyze the results of terascale simulations. It was developed as a framework for adding custom capabilities and rapidly deploying new visualization technologies. Although the primary driving force behind the development of VisIt was for visualizing terascale data, it is also well suited for visualizing data from typical simulations on desktop systems.

[ascl:1103.008] Parallel HOP: A Scalable Halo Finder for Massive Cosmological Data Sets

Modern N-body cosmological simulations contain billions ($10^9$) of dark matter particles. These simulations require hundreds to thousands of gigabytes of memory, and employ hundreds to tens of thousands of processing cores on many compute nodes. In order to study the distribution of dark matter in a cosmological simulation, the dark matter halos must be identified using a halo finder, which establishes the halo membership of every particle in the simulation. The resources required for halo finding are similar to the requirements for the simulation itself. In particular, simulations have become too extensive to use commonly-employed halo finders, such that the computational requirements to identify halos must now be spread across multiple nodes and cores. Here we present a scalable-parallel halo finding method called Parallel HOP for large-scale cosmological simulation data. Based on the halo finder HOP, it utilizes MPI and domain decomposition to distribute the halo finding workload across multiple compute nodes, enabling analysis of much larger datasets than is possible with the strictly serial or previous parallel implementations of HOP. We provide a reference implementation of this method as a part of the toolkit yt, an analysis toolkit for Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) data that includes complementary analysis modules. Additionally, we discuss a suite of benchmarks that demonstrate that this method scales well up to several hundred tasks and datasets in excess of $2000^3$ particles. The Parallel HOP method and our implementation can be readily applied to any kind of N-body simulation data and is therefore widely applicable. Parallel HOP is part of yt.

[ascl:1103.009] SPHRAY: A Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics Ray Tracer for Radiative Transfer

SPHRAY, a Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) ray tracer, is designed to solve the 3D, time dependent, radiative transfer (RT) equations for arbitrary density fields. The SPH nature of SPHRAY makes the incorporation of separate hydrodynamics and gravity solvers very natural. SPHRAY relies on a Monte Carlo (MC) ray tracing scheme that does not interpolate the SPH particles onto a grid but instead integrates directly through the SPH kernels. Given initial conditions and a description of the sources of ionizing radiation, the code will calculate the non-equilibrium ionization state (HI, HII, HeI, HeII, HeIII, e) and temperature (internal energy/entropy) of each SPH particle. The sources of radiation can include point like objects, diffuse recombination radiation, and a background field from outside the computational volume. The MC ray tracing implementation allows for the quick introduction of new physics and is parallelization friendly. A quick Axis Aligned Bounding Box (AABB) test taken from computer graphics applications allows for the acceleration of the raytracing component. We present the algorithms used in SPHRAY and verify the code by performing all the test problems detailed in the recent Radiative Transfer Comparison Project of Iliev et. al. The Fortran 90 source code for SPHRAY and example SPH density fields are made available online.

[ascl:1103.010] Hydra: A Parallel Adaptive Grid Code

We describe the first parallel implementation of an adaptive particle-particle, particle-mesh code with smoothed particle hydrodynamics. Parallelisation of the serial code, "Hydra," is achieved by using CRAFT, a Cray proprietary language which allows rapid implementation of a serial code on a parallel machine by allowing global addressing of distributed memory.

The collisionless variant of the code has already completed several 16.8 million particle cosmological simulations on a 128 processor Cray T3D whilst the full hydrodynamic code has completed several 4.2 million particle combined gas and dark matter runs. The efficiency of the code now allows parameter-space explorations to be performed routinely using $64^3$ particles of each species. A complete run including gas cooling, from high redshift to the present epoch requires approximately 10 hours on 64 processors.

[ascl:1103.011] AP3M: Adaptive Particle-particle, Particle-mesh Code

AP3M is an adaptive particle-particle, particle-mesh code. It is older than Hydra (ascl:1103.010) but faster and more memory-efficient for dark-matter only calculations. The Adaptive P3M technique (AP3M) is built around the standard P3M algorithm. AP3M produces fully equivalent forces to P3M but represents a more efficient implementation of the force splitting idea of P3M. The AP3M program may be used in any of the three modes with an appropriate choice of input parameter.

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