Edinburgh Centre for Computational
Astrophysics

### ECCA Research: Gravitational dynamics

Gravity underlies almost every astrophysical process in the
Universe, from the formation of stars and planets on small scales to
the formation and evolution of cosmic structures and the Universe
itself on the largest. Two principal approaches are used to compute
the evolution of large gravitating astronomical systems, direct
integration of the gravitational *N*-body problem and the
computation of the evolution of the distribution function describing
the position and velocities of the gravitating particles. Both methods
have been utilised by members of the Institute for Astronomy at ECCA
for computing the evolution of the clustering of dark matter in the
Universe, with particular emphasis on the formation of galactic haloes
and the clustering of the haloes. Members of the Institute for Astronomy
and the Applied Mathematics
group in the School of Mathematics have used the techniques for
studying the evolution of dense stellar systems such as globular star
clusters.

ECCA Home Page

IfA Home Page
Maths Home Page