Volume 566, June 2014
|Number of page(s)||13|
|Section||Numerical methods and codes|
|Published online||19 June 2014|
A 3D radiative transfer framework
XI. Multi-level NLTE
1 Hamburger Sternwarte, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21029 Hamburg, Germany
2 Homer L. Dodge Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Oklahoma, 440 W. Brooks, Rm 100, Norman OK 73019, USA
Received: 5 February 2014
Accepted: 13 April 2014
Context. Multi-level non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) radiation transfer calculations have become standard throughout the stellar atmospheres community and are applied to all types of stars as well as dynamical systems such as novae and supernovae. Nevertheless even today spherically symmetric 1D calculations with full physics are computationally intensive. We show that full physics NLTE calculations can be done with fully 3 dimensional (3D) radiative transfer.
Aims. With modern computational techniques and current massive parallel computational resources, full detailed solution of the multi-level NLTE problem coupled to the solution of the radiative transfer scattering problem can be solved without sacrificing the micro physics description.
Methods. We extend the use of a rate operator developed to solve the coupled NLTE problem in spherically symmetric 1D systems. In order to spread memory among processors we have implemented the NLTE/3D module with a hierarchical domain decomposition method that distributes the NLTE levels, radiative rates, and rate operator data over a group of processes so that each process only holds the data for a fraction of the voxels. Each process in a group holds all the relevant data to participate in the solution of the 3DRT problem so that the 3DRT solution is parallelized within a domain decomposition group.
Results. We solve a spherically symmetric system in 3D spherical coordinates in order to directly compare our well-tested 1D code to the 3D case. We compare three levels of tests: a) a simple H+He test calculation, b) H+He+CNO+Mg, c) H+He+Fe. The last test is computationally large and shows that realistic astrophysical problems are solvable now, but they do require significant computational resources.
Conclusions. With presently available computational resources it is possible to solve the full 3D multi-level problem with the same detailed micro-physics as included in 1D modeling.
Key words: radiative transfer / methods: numerical / stars: atmospheres
© ESO, 2014
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