2007-2008 Supercomputing Challenge New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge


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Challenge Team Interim Report

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    Team Number: 043

    School Name: Farmington High

    Area of Science: Astrophysics

    Project Title: Modeling the Formation of a Galaxy

Final Report

The project that our team has chosen to do is to model the formation of a galaxy using a supercomputer to analyze data inputs (number of stars, environment, etc.). This topic has been the goal of the team since we have started. The purpose of this is to formulate a basic understanding of the formation of galaxies, computationally analyze how this happens, and to structure the data in a clear and concise manner.

We have made contacts with Dr. Middleditch. The initial response gave us the impression that our project was very ambitious and time consuming. However, it seems that with help we will be able to correctly pattern this formation. However, doing some research by ourselves we found that there are many types of galaxy theories and ideas. We may end up trying to model the structure of spiral galaxy, bar galaxy, elliptical galaxy, etc. It has been demonstrated that if a galaxy is a gravitationally bound system the physics needed can be confined to Classical Mechanics, Thermal Physics, Statistical Mechanics, and General Relativity. Our research indicates we can use relationships that involve density fluctuation and Poisson's equation. Using differential equations governing the evolution of the density fluctuation, we define the continuity equation as dr/dt +-(rv)=0. Then we defined the equation of motion as r(dv/dt)+(v-)=-r-r. The Poisson equation was the next equation that we will need which is 2=4pr. The equation of the state is r=r(r,T). With these equations it turns out that above a certain length scale the globular cluster will grow in direct proportion with time. Since this causes the galaxies to grow too slowly, we assume that dark matter is present in the system. Therefore, we must adapt for this difference by using more equations. We hope this can be done with the help of our sponsor. This will be limited to our Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, and Programming skills. It is understood that it will take many hours to complete and use all the skills and resources of our team. The following process will be done with the programming team members and our mentor.

The expected results are still in the process of coming together. It is hoped to have a three dimensional display that will provide the receiver with the formation of a galaxy at certain intervals based on our research We have had the privilege to be in touch with a teacher who knew how to obtain sponsors that can help us. We have also had the privilege of touching base with our sponsor. We hope to find out more about the ideas of our sponsor. The beginning of this project has come at a difficult time for him and so the contact with him has been limited, yet hopeful for the future dates. The process of coming together has been a long one and we hope that we will find what needs to be limited and analyze in the near future, in order to complete our project on time.

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