The mysteries of the Universe and how we came to be are set to be unlocked by a technique for modelling fluids, similar to one which is becoming increasingly popular within the film industry to improve the realism of special effects.
Theoretical Astrophysics student, Fergus Wilson from the University of Leicester, is currently utilising a fluid modelling technique within his doctoral research to enable investigation of the mass transfer from one star to another in a binary star system.
Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) is a computational method for modelling fluid as a set of moving particles and can be used to solve the equations of motion between two or more particles. A similar technique has been used to enhance the special effects in blockbuster Hollywood movies such as Tomb Raider and The Matrix Reloaded.
Mr Wilson uses the SPH method to model the explosive eruptions of dying stars to provide vital clues to the current accelerated expansion of the Universe. Preliminary results from the study will be showcased at the University of Leicester's Festival of Postgraduate Research on 24 June.
Mr Wilson's research focuses on Type Ia supernovae, which occur when White Dwarf stars explode upon reaching a critical mass. His simulations model the formation of discs around accreting stars within a binary star system.
Mr Wilson commented:
"Transferred material from one star in the binary system will form a disc with some of it 'gobbled up' by the accreting star. The accreting star then blows off some of this 'gobbled up' material when the pressure becomes too large. This material forms a blast wave and is blown off into the remainder of the disc. How much of the original accreted mass remains on the accreting star will determine how much mass the accreting star will gain or lose during this process. If the accreting star continues to gain mass it will reach a critical limit and the whole star will explode and a supernova will occur.
"All Type Ia supernovae have the same characteristic luminosity which makes them ideal for measuring astronomical distances. They are used as standard candles by astronomers to determine the distance of celestial objects and have allowed astronomers to measure the distances to galaxies at the edge of the known Universe, providing vital clues into the rate the Universe is expanding.
"Clearly understanding how Type Ia supernovae work is of fundamental importance in the quest of understanding how the Universe works as astronomical distances can be measured which are crucial to understanding the fate of the Universe."
His simulations investigate the different effects the wind speed and rotation of the 'mass feeding' stars will have on the disc size and how the energy in the blast waves effects the disc disruption to aid understanding of the process which will hopefully lead to future technological advancements.
"There are also more worldly applications to SPH. It is ideally suited to modelling fluid flow in a variety of situations such as airflow over a car or plane and pyro flows through buildings. There are therefore areas of overlap between the numerical methods employed in astrophysics and situations of more industrial and commercial interest, and vice versa."
Fergus Wilson will be presenting his research to the public at the University of Leicester on June 24. The Festival of Postgraduate Research introduces employers and the public to the next generation of innovators and cutting-edge researchers, and gives postgraduate researchers the opportunity to explain the real world implications of their research to a wide ranging audience.
More information at: http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ssds/sd/pgr/events/fpgr
Fergus Wilson | EurekAlert!
NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts
28.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Researchers create artificial materials atom-by-atom
28.03.2017 | Aalto University
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy