Dark Matter Effects on Galaxy Collisions
School: Los Alamos Mid
Area of Science: Astrophysics
Proposal: The purpose of this project is finding how dark matter effects galaxy collisions. My computer program from last year treated dark matter as a single large mass point at the center of the galaxy. Star clusters were treated as mass points orbiting around the large central mass. Newton’s laws of motion and gravity were used to move the mass points. This year, I will create a program for modeling two colliding galaxies. Dark matter will now be treated as particles and distributed using the NFW (Nevarro-Frenk-White) distribution. Different interactions between the dark matter particles will be investigated. Different starting locations, sizes, and collision speeds will be investigated for the two galaxies. This year’s model will also be in 3D, rather than 2D. I will use C, OpenCL, and MPI as my programming languages. Many different simulations will be run using desktops, GPUs, and supercomputers to determine the “best” dark matter interaction method and to find the best program parameters such as: dt, and drmin (force cutoff). A full n-body method and tree algorithm will be used to compute the interactions. I will use the Velocity-Verlet method to compute the positions and velocities of the stars. My final results will be compared to professional models, predicted dark matter halos, and real-life star distributions from colliding galaxies.
Sponsoring Teacher: Brian Kendrick
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