School of Mathematical Sciences

Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation

CCRG hosted the Carpet Developer workshop on August 23-27, 2010, in the RIT's Student Innovation Center (room 1100).

COS Carpet Workshop

Carpet and Cactus code developers met with users and high-performance-computing (HPC) specialists to discuss and implement new adaptive-mesh-refinement (AMR) algorithms, aimed at improving the performance of numerical relativity codes for astrophysics applications in current and future high-end petascale architectures, such as the NCSA's Blue Waters.

The workshop was co-organized by Bruno Mundim (RIT), Manuela Campanelli (RIT) and Erick Schnetter (LSU) and was co-sponsored by the RIT's Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation and by two NSF PRAC awards OCI-0941653, OCI-0832606.

Details about this workshop can be found in the wiki website; workshop event information can be found here.

Physics/Astrophysical Sciences and Technology

The new Astrophysical Sciences and Technology (AST) graduate program reached a landmark on September 15, when it conducted its first PhD Dissertation defense. The candidate, Rudolfo Montez Jr. (advisor Dr Joel Kastner) presented his research on "X-rays from Planetary Nebulae", which is based on an analysis of data obtained from the orbiting Chandra and XMM-Newton X-ray observatories, operated by NASA and the European Space Agency, respectively. Rudy holds a BA in Astronomy and a BS in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin. He began his graduate studies at the University of Rochester before transferring into the Imaging Science PhD program at RIT, in order to work with Dr Kastner, Professor in Imaging Science and a member of the AST graduate faculty. Rudy transferred to AST a few months after the program was launched, in Fall 2008.

AST graduate program, first PhD Dissertation defense

Rudy begins his presentation in the Center for Student Innovation, with his Committee occupying the front row. Photo: Kristopher Yirak.

Physics/Astrophysical Sciences and Technology

Wandering black holes?

A research team led by Andy Robinson (Professor in Physics) and David Axon (Research Professor in Physics) has found evidence that supermassive black holes are not always located at the centers of their host galaxies. Using images from the Hubble Space Telescope, the team found that the black hole in the giant elliptical galaxy Messier 87 is displaced by 22 light years from the galaxy center. Similarly, an analysis of polarization spectra of the quasar E1821+643 suggests that the black hole is hurtling through its host galaxy at a speed of 2100 km/s. In both cases, the motion of the black hole is probably due to gravitational recoil—a phenomenon being studied by researchers in RIT's Center for Computational Relativity and Gravitation—which occurs when two black holes merge, giving off intense gravitational radiation. The team also includes Dan Batcheldor (former research scientist in the Center for Imaging Science, now at the Department of Physics and Space Science, Florida Institute of Technology), Stuart Young and Preeti Kharb (post-docs in Physics). These results are discussed in two recent papers in the Astrophysical Journal (available on-line here and here).

Black hole graph

Figure: Hubble Space Telescope image of the quasar E1821+643, with radio data (contours) superposed