Volume 586, February 2016
|Number of page(s)||13|
|Section||Numerical methods and codes|
|Published online||28 January 2016|
A chemical reaction network solver for the astrophysics code NIRVANA
Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
Received: 27 August 2015
Accepted: 23 November 2015
Context. Chemistry often plays an important role in astrophysical gases. It regulates thermal properties by changing species abundances and via ionization processes. This way, time-dependent cooling mechanisms and other chemistry–related energy sources can have a profound influence on the dynamical evolution of an astrophysical system. Modeling those effects with the underlying chemical kinetics in realistic magneto-gasdynamical simulations provide the basis for a better link to observations.
Aims. The present work describes the implementation of a chemical reaction network solver into the magneto-gasdynamical code NIRVANA. For this purpose a multispecies structure is installed, and a new module for evolving the rate equations of chemical kinetics is developed and coupled to the dynamical part of the code. A small chemical network for a hydrogen–helium plasma was constructed including associated thermal processes which is used in test problems.
Methods. Evolving a chemical network within time-dependent simulations requires the additional solution of a set of coupled advection-reaction equations for species and gas temperature. Second-order Strang-splitting is used to separate the advection part from the reaction part. The ordinary differential equation (ODE) system representing the reaction part is solved with a fourth-order generalized Runge-Kutta method applicable for stiff systems inherent to astrochemistry.
Results. A series of tests was performed in order to check the correctness of numerical and technical implementation. Tests include well-known stiff ODE problems from the mathematical literature in order to confirm accuracy properties of the solver used as well as problems combining gasdynamics and chemistry. Overall, very satisfactory results are achieved.
Conclusions. The NIRVANA code is now ready to handle astrochemical processes in time-dependent simulations. An easy-to-use interface allows implementation of complex networks including thermal processes. In combination with NIRVANA’s self-gravity solver, its efficient solver for dissipation terms and its adaptive mesh refinement capability challenging astrophysical problems come into reach with the code.
Key words: magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) / astrochemistry / methods: numerical
© ESO, 2016
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