The European Physical Journal Plus

, 126:44

Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics for astrophysical flows

The dynamics of protostellar discs
Regular Article

DOI: 10.1140/epjp/i2011-11044-6

Cite this article as:
Lodato, G. & Cossins, P.J. Eur. Phys. J. Plus (2011) 126: 44. doi:10.1140/epjp/i2011-11044-6
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Focus Point on Computational Methods for Astro- and Plasma Physics: Some Hot Topics


In this paper we describe the application of the Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) method to the dynamics of protostellar discs, and in particular to the problem of characterising gravitational instabilities in such discs. Initially, we briefly describe the basic features of SPH, a Lagrangian mesh-free method of solving the equations of fluid dynamics which is widely used in astrophysics. We highlight those features of SPH that should be particularly kept in mind when simulating accretion discs --these include both physical and artificial viscosity-- that directly affect the transport of angular momentum in the code. We then describe some recent advances in our understanding of the development and non-linear behaviour of gravitational instabilities in accretion discs, paying particular attention to the problem of numerical convergence within SPH simulations of self-gravitating discs.

Supplementary material

13360_2011_44_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (63 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 63.0 KB.

Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di FisicaUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK