The “numerical-relativity” group is part of the Astrophysical Relativity Division at the Albert Einstein Institute, and is led by Prof. Luciano Rezzolla.

The research of  the numerical relativity group at the AEI focuses on the study of the physics and astrophysics of black holes and neutron stars, whose accurate description requires the use of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Despite its name,  some of  work of the numerical-relativity group exploits analytical techniques and approximations. However, a large part of our research deals with the solution of the Einstein equations using numerical techniques and supercomputing facilities.  We consider our codes as “theoretical laboratories” and use numerical simulations as a tool to investigate those physical regimes in which any other approximation is known or expected to fail.

Our work is a multi-disciplinary effort, spanning the fields of astrophysics, cosmology, hydrodynamics and magnetohydrodynamics, differential geometry, mathematics of nonlinear partial differential equations and high performance computing. Our present research interests cover all aspects of astrophysical relativity, with an emphasis on the modelling of sources of gravitational waves,  astrophysical compact objects, accretion onto black holes as well as on the mathematical aspects of the numerical solution of the Einstein equations.

High-performance computing and advanced code-development represent two important aspects of our daily research. We use and contribute to several community software projects as part of the Einstein Toolkit, including the Cactus Computational Toolkit, which can be downloaded here, and the Whisky code, which can be downloaded here. We have one powerful local cluster, Damiana, and use several of the largest supercomputers in the world, including Ranger, Lonestar and Kraken.

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