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An improved SPH scheme for cosmological simulations

Abstract

We present an implementation of smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) with improved accuracy for simulations of galaxies and the large-scale structure. In particular, we implement and test a vast majority of SPH improvement in the developer version of GADGET-3. We use the Wendland kernel functions, a particle wake-up time-step limiting mechanism and a time-dependent scheme for artificial viscosity including high-order gradient computation and shear flow limiter. Additionally, we include a novel prescription for time-dependent artificial conduction, which corrects for gravitationally induced pressure gradients and improves the SPH performance in capturing the development of gas-dynamical instabilities. We extensively test our new implementation in a wide range of hydrodynamical standard tests including weak and strong shocks as well as shear flows, turbulent spectra, gas mixing, hydrostatic equilibria and self-gravitating gas clouds. We jointly employ all modifications; however, when necessary we study the performance of individual code modules. We approximate hydrodynamical states more accurately and with significantly less noise than standard GADGET-SPH. Furthermore, the new implementation promotes the mixing of entropy between different fluid phases, also within cosmological simulations. Finally, we study the performance of the hydrodynamical solver in the context of radiative galaxy formation and non-radiative galaxy cluster formation. We find galactic discs to be colder and more extended and galaxy clusters showing entropy cores instead of steadily declining entropy profiles. In summary, we demonstrate that our improved SPH implementation overcomes most of the undesirable limitations of standard GADGET-SPH, thus becoming the core of an efficient code for large cosmological simulations.

Author

Beck, A. M.; Murante, G.; Arth, A.; Remus, R.-S.; Teklu, A. F.; Donnert, J. M. F.; Planelles, S.; Beck, M. C.; Förster, P.; Imgrund, M.; Dolag, K.; Borgani, S.

Journal

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters

Paper Publication Date

January 2016

Paper Type

Astroinformatics

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