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The AGORA High-resolution Galaxy Simulations Comparison Project. II. Isolated Disk Test

Kim, Ji-hoon and Hopkins, Philip F. and Hummels, Cameron B. (2016) The AGORA High-resolution Galaxy Simulations Comparison Project. II. Isolated Disk Test. Astrophysical Journal, 833 (2). Art. No. 202. ISSN 0004-637X.

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Using an isolated Milky Way-mass galaxy simulation, we compare results from nine state-of-the-art gravito-hydrodynamics codes widely used in the numerical community. We utilize the infrastructure we have built for the AGORA High-resolution Galaxy Simulations Comparison Project. This includes the common disk initial conditions, common physics models (e.g., radiative cooling and UV background by the standardized package Grackle) and common analysis toolkit yt, all of which are publicly available. Subgrid physics models such as Jeans pressure floor, star formation, supernova feedback energy, and metal production are carefully constrained across code platforms. With numerical accuracy that resolves the disk scale height, we find that the codes overall agree well with one another in many dimensions including: gas and stellar surface densities, rotation curves, velocity dispersions, density and temperature distribution functions, disk vertical heights, stellar clumps, star formation rates, and Kennicutt–Schmidt relations. Quantities such as velocity dispersions are very robust (agreement within a few tens of percent at all radii) while measures like newly formed stellar clump mass functions show more significant variation (difference by up to a factor of ~3). Systematic differences exist, for example, between mesh-based and particle-based codes in the low-density region, and between more diffusive and less diffusive schemes in the high-density tail of the density distribution. Yet intrinsic code differences are generally small compared to the variations in numerical implementations of the common subgrid physics such as supernova feedback. Our experiment reassures that, if adequately designed in accordance with our proposed common parameters, results of a modern high-resolution galaxy formation simulation are more sensitive to input physics than to intrinsic differences in numerical schemes.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Hopkins, Philip F.0000-0003-3729-1684
Hummels, Cameron B.0000-0002-3817-8133
Additional Information:© 2016 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2016 October 7; revised 2016 October 25; accepted 2016 October 28; published 2016 December 19. The authors of this paper thank the members of the AGORA Collaboration who are not on the author list but have provided helpful suggestions throughout the progress of the paper, including John Forbes. We also thank Volker Springel for providing the original versions of Gadget-3 and Makedisk to be used in the AGORA Project. We gratefully acknowledge the financial and logistical support from the University of California High-Performance AstroComputing Center (UC-HiPACC) during the annual AGORA Workshops held at the University of California Santa Cruz from 2012 to 2016. This research also used resources of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), a DOE Office of Science User Facility supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. The publicly available Enzo and yt codes used in this work are the products of collaborative efforts by many independent scientists from numerous institutions around the world. Their commitment to open science has helped make this work possible. Ji-hoon Kim acknowledges support from NASA through an Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship, grant PF4-150147, and support from the Moore Center for Theoretical Cosmology and Physics at Caltech. A part of his computing time was provided by Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) allocation TG-AST140064. XSEDE is supported by National Science Foundation (NSF) grant No. ACI-1053575. He is also grateful for the support from the computational team at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory during the usage of the clusters for the simulation analysis. Oscar Agertz acknowledges support from STFC consolidated grant ST/M000990/1 and the Swedish Research Council grant 2014-5791. Daniel Ceverino acknowledges support from the European Research Council (ERC) via the ERC Advanced Grant STARLIGHT Project No. 339177. Robert Feldmann acknowledges support in part by NASA through Hubble Fellowship grant HF2-51304.001-A awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for NASA, under contract NAS 5-26555, in part by the Theoretical Astrophysics Center at UC Berkeley, and by NASA ATP grant 12-ATP-120183. Alessandro Lupi acknowledges support by the ERC Project No. 267117 (PI J. Silk). Tom Quinn acknowledges partial support by the NSF through grants No. AST-1514868 and AST-1311956 and NASA Hubble grant HST-AR-13264. Changa simulations where run on resources provided by XSEDE and NASA Pleiades. Robert Thompson, Matthew Turk and Nathan Goldbaum acknowledge support by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation's Data-Driven Discovery Initiative through grant GBMF4561 (PI M. Turk), and by the NSF through grant No. ACI-1535651. Tom Abel acknowledges partial support by the Kavli Foundation. Sukanya Chakrabarti acknowledges support by the NSF through grant No. AST-1517488. Piero Madau acknowledges support by the NSF through grant No. AST-1229745 and by NASA through grant NNX12AF87G. Kentaro Nagamine and Ikkoh Shimizu acknowledge support from the JSPS KAKENHI grant No. JP26247022. Some of the Gadget-3 simulations were carried out on the XC30 machine at the Center for Computational Astrophysics, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. Brian O'Shea acknowledges support from NASA through grants NNX12AC98G, NNX15AP39G, and NASA Hubble theory grants HST-AR-13261.01-A and HST-AR-14315.001-A. He was also supported in part by the sabbatical visitor program at the Michigan Institute for Research in Astrophysics at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and gratefully acknowledges their hospitality. Joel Primack acknowledges support from STScI through grant HST-GO-12060.12-A-004, and NASA Advanced Supercomputing for Pleiades time on which Art-I simulations were run. Christine Simpson acknowledges support from the ERC under ERC-StG grant EXAGAL-308037 and from the Klaus Tschira Foundation. John Wise acknowledges support by the NSF through grants No. AST-1333360 and AST-1614333 and NASA Hubble theory grants HST-AR-13895 and HST-AR-14326.
Group:Moore Center for Theoretical Cosmology and Physics
Funding AgencyGrant Number
University of CaliforniaUNSPECIFIED
Department of Energy (DOE)DE-AC02-05CH11231
NASA Einstein FellowshipPF4-150147
Caltech Moore Center for Theoretical Cosmology and PhysicsUNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/M000990/1
Swedish Research Council2014-5791
European Research Council (ERC)339177
NASA Hubble FellowshipHF2-51304.001-A
NASANAS 5-26555
European Research Council (ERC)267117
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-AR-13264
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationGBMF4561
Kavli FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)JP26247022
University of MichiganUNSPECIFIED
NASA Hubble FellowshipHST-GO-12060.12-A-004
European Research Council (ERC)EXAGAL-308037
Klaus Tschira FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:cosmology: theory – galaxies: evolution – galaxies: formation – galaxies: kinematics and dynamics – ISM: structure – methods: numerical
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161219-102104799
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Ji-hoon Kim et al 2016 ApJ 833 202
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:72936
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Dec 2016 19:40
Last Modified:17 Aug 2017 19:16

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