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Collaboration with Princeton University

The Excellence Cluster Universe and the University of Princeton are happy to announce a new joint research undertaking in cosmological computational science. For several years there has been collaborative research between scientists at Princeton and Munich in the area of galaxy formation. In recent years, scientists of the observatory of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) and the Princeton University have made great progress in understanding the formation of galaxies, the basic building blocks of the Universe, within the context of the now standard “Cold-Dark-Matter” scientific paradigm.

The principal investigators in both groups include Dr. Jeremiah Ostriker acting as part of the Princeton University Observatory headed by Dr. David Spergel and Dr. Thorsten Naab of the Computational Astrophysics Group at the LMU observatory headed by Dr. Andreas Burkert. Naab, Ostriker and co-workers have performed their work on galaxy formation on high resolution supercomputer simulations. These simulations, based on initial conditions taken from this model, have succeeded in forming the huge, elliptical galaxies found in nature which are already old (i.e. red) at high early cosmic epochs which then grow by accretion of smaller systems as time progresses to become the familiar elliptical galaxies seen in the cosmic vicinity of our own Milky Way.

This work, which is strongly dependent on the availability of supercomputing facilities, has been performed both at the University Observatory in Munich and at the Princeton Institute for Computational Science and Engineering, directed by Ostriker.

Now, these two groups are collaborating together in purchasing new hardware, to be housed at the Princeton Institute for Computational Science and Engineering, which will enable enhanced and larger scale simulations of the physics of galaxy formation. The machine in question is to be part of a 768-core upgrade of an energy efficient Altix Ice supercomputer manufactured by the Silicon Graphics corporation, with installation expected in late March of 2009 and scientific work to begin directly thereafter.

This is but one of several collaborative efforts between the two astronomical groups with other long range projects, such as mutual support or exchange of postdoctoral fellows, in the planning or initial stages of implementation. 

More information on the collaboration can be found here.

Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Exzellenzcluster Universe

Boltzmannstr. 2
D-85748 Garching

Tel. + 49 89 35831 - 7100
Fax + 49 89 3299 - 4002