Simulating the Evolution of Star Clusters on High-End Graphics Cards


Speaker: Dr Holger Baumgardt
Date: 12th March 2010

It is well known that most, if not all, stars form in star clusters. Star clusters can therefore be viewed as the fundamental building blocks of galaxies since many of their properties, like the stellar mass function, the stellar velocity distribution, and the fraction and distribution of binary stars are established in star clusters. In addition, a special class of star clusters called globular clusters is among the first objects that formed after the Big Bang, and therefore  contains valuable information about the early Universe.

In my talk, I will first summarize these general ideas. I will then show why high-performance supercomputers are necessary to make progress in star cluster research and highlight a few of the recent progresses that have been achieved through simulations on these computers.