2013 Student Research Conference:
26th Annual Student Research Conference

Simulating of Galactic Stellar Populations
Alexander B. Howard
Dr. Vayujeet Gokhale, Faculty Mentor

With the mechanics of stellar evolution widely accepted by the astrophysics community it has become a point of interest to simulate large populations of stars, to understand how entire galaxies evolve over time. Many single and binary star evolution codes have been produced and are currently being utilized to understand the stellar evolution. Using accepted models, we modified the scope of their usefulness; realizing that with modern computing techniques and data structures it was possible to simulate large populations of stars even on the scale of galaxies. This modified code was then outfitted with the Initial Mass Function to produce an initial distribution of stellar bodies following the current models which could then be evolved as a population rather than individual stellar objects. After running several simulations and observing that these simulations mirror what is expected based on observation and other theory, we then used modified stellar evolution to predict and model the continuously habitable zones around individual stars.

Keywords: Stellar Evolution, Initial Mass Function, Habitable Zones

Topic(s):Physics-Astronomy
Computer Science

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 305-5
Location: MG 1096
Time: 2:00

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