Revealing the Physics of Multiphase Galactic Winds Through Massively-Parallel Hydrodynamics Simulations
AuthorSchneider, Evan Elizabeth
AdvisorRobertson, Brant E.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis thesis documents the hydrodynamics code Cholla and a numerical study of multiphase galactic winds. Cholla is a massively-parallel, GPU-based code designed for astrophysical simulations that is freely available to the astrophysics community. A static-mesh Eulerian code, Cholla is ideally suited to carrying out massive simulations (> 2048 ³ cells) that require very high resolution. The code incorporates state-of-the-art hydrodynamics algorithms including third-order spatial reconstruction, exact and linearized Riemann solvers, and unsplit integration algorithms that account for transverse fluxes on multidimensional grids. Operator-split radiative cooling and a dual-energy formalism for high mach number flows are also included. An extensive test suite demonstrates Cholla's superior ability to model shocks and discontinuities, while the GPU-native design makes the code extremely computationally efficient - speeds of 5-10 million cell updates per GPU-second are typical on current hardware for 3D simulations with all of the aforementioned physics. The latter half of this work comprises a comprehensive study of the mixing between a hot, supernova-driven wind and cooler clouds representative of those observed in multiphase galactic winds. Both adiabatic and radiatively-cooling clouds are investigated. The analytic theory of cloud-crushing is applied to the problem, and adiabatic turbulent clouds are found to be mixed with the hot wind on similar timescales as the classic spherical case (4-5 t_cc) with an appropriate rescaling of the cloud-crushing time. Radiatively cooling clouds survive considerably longer, and the differences in evolution between turbulent and spherical clouds cannot be reconciled with a simple rescaling. The rapid incorporation of low-density material into the hot wind implies efficient mass-loading of hot phases of galactic winds. At the same time, the extreme compression of high-density cloud material leads to long-lived but slow-moving clumps that are unlikely to escape the galaxy.
Degree ProgramGraduate College