EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 496, Number 1, March II 2009
Page(s) 295 - 298
Section Numerical methods and codes
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200810290
Published online 20 January 2009
A&A 496, 295-298 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200810290

Research Note

A new formal solution of the radiative transfer in arbitrary velocity fields

S. Knop1, P. H. Hauschildt1, and E. Baron1, 2

1  Hamburger Sternwarte, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21029 Hamburg, Germany
    e-mail: [sknop;yeti]@hs.uni-hamburg.de
2  Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Oklahoma, 440 W Brooks, Rm 100, Norman, OK 73019-2061, USA
    e-mail: baron@ou.edu

Received 30 May 2008 / Accepted 25 November 2008

Aims. We present a new formal solution of the Lagrangian equation of radiative transfer that is useful in solving the equation of radiative transfer in the presence of arbitrary velocity fields.
Methods. Normally a term due to the inclusion of the wavelength derivative in the Lagrangian equation of radiative transfer is associated with a generalised opacity. In non-monotonic velocity fields, this generalised opacity may become negative. To ensure that the opacity remains positive, this term of the derivative is included in the formal solution of the radiative transfer problem.
Results. The new definition of the generalised opacity allows for a new solution of the equation of radiative transfer in the presence of velocity fields. It is especially useful for arbitrary velocity fields, where it effectively prevents the occurrences of negative generalised opacities and still allows the explicit construction of the $\Lambda$-operator of the system needed for an accelerated $\Lambda$-iteration. We performed test calculations, where the results of old, established solutions were compared with the new solution. The relative deviations never exceeded 1% and so the new solution is indeed suitable for use in radiative-transfer modelling.
Non-monotonic velocity fields along photon paths frequently occur in three-dimensional hydrodynamical models of astrophysical atmospheres. Therefore, the formal solution will be of use for multidimensional radiative transfer and has immediate applications in the modelling of pulsating stars and astrophysical shock fronts.

Key words: radiative transfer

© ESO 2009