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Edinburgh Centre for Computational Astrophysics

IGM I-front
IGM ionisation front

Protoplanetary disc
Protoplanetary disc

Coalescing neutron star and black hole
Neutron star - black hole coalescence

The Edinburgh Centre for Computational Astrophysics (ECCA) utilises high-performance computing for solving numerical problems in astrophysics. Our areas of focus are the application of either structured-grid finite difference schemes or smoothed particle hydrodynamics to compressible flows involving gravity, and the application of particle-based methods to the gravitational N-body problem. The group includes members from both the Institute for Astronomy within the School of Physics and Astronomy and affiliated members  in the Applied Mathematics group within the School of Mathematics. Areas of specific interest to group members in the Institute for Astronomy include the formation and evolution of cosmic structures and the large-scale structure of the Universe and the formation of planetary systems in the Galaxy. Members within the Applied Mathematics group study the merger of compact objects like neutron stars and black holes as a mechanism for generating gamma ray bursts and the dynamical evolution of dense stellar systems such as globular star clusters. Both groups are interested in the properties of the hot intracluster gas in clusters of galaxies.

Birth of a galaxy

Star cluster
Star cluster dynamics

For details on an animation and related applications, click on the image.


ECCA is part of the Institute for Astronomy (IfA) in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh, a member institution of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance (SUPA).















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