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Physical Sciences

Best Animation

Stellar Feedback vs. Galaxy Formation

Alex Gurvich

Physics and Astronomy
April, 2018
DOI: 10.21985/N20H5K


Three simulations of identical galaxies with varying levels of energy returned to stars’ surroundings after they form. When stars return lots of energy (right) it blows up the galaxy. When they don’t (left) it is able to form a very stable disk.


This is a movie of three galaxy formation simulations I ran as part of my research. The color of each pixel represents the temperature of the gas (blue for cold and green for hot) and the brightness of each pixel represents the density (dim for low density bright for high density). Thus diffuse and hot gas looks like a hazy green mist while cold and dense gas looks like a bright clump. In this movie 3 different prescriptions for stellar feedback, the process by which newly formed stars give momentum and energy back to their environments, are employed on identical galaxy models. The center panel is our fiducial model. The rightmost is when feedback is enhanced and the leftmost is when feedback is reduced.



Alex Gurvich, Physics and Astronomy

Firefly is an interactive tool that allows users to fly through any 3 dimensional dataset by rendering it on-the-fly. Here we present simulation data created as part of the FIRE galaxy formation collaboration. Interactively exploring data generates powerful intuition and helps one isolate regions of interest in the data using humans' pattern recognition abilities. Additionally, by applying filters to data before passing it into Firefly, you can explore the way different categories of your data...Read on

Fluid dynamical levitation of heavy particles

Daniel Case, Physics and Astronomy

Levitation—the rising or hovering of an object in apparent defiance of gravity—is a captivating phenomenon with a wide range of applications. In this visualization, we demonstrate our newly discovered form of fluid dynamical levitation of small particles that may be 10, 100, or even 1000 times as dense as the fluid. The transport of small particles such as sediment, droplets, or microorganisms commonly occurs in natural and industrial flows. However, the transport process is still...Read on