New Paper ‘A purely hyperbolic discontinuous Galerkin approach for self-gravitating gas dynamics’ published in Journal of Computational Physics

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The paper A conservative fully-discrete numerical method for the regularized shallow water wave equations of Michael Schlottke-Lakemper, Andrew R. Winters, Gregor J. Gassner, and me has been published in Journal of Computational Physics. As usual, you can find the preprint on arXiv.

One of the challenges when simulating astrophysical flows with self-gravity is to compute the gravitational forces. In contrast to the hyperbolic hydrodynamic equations, the gravity field is described by an elliptic Poisson equation. We present a purely hyperbolic approach by reformulating the elliptic problem into a hyperbolic diffusion problem, which is solved in pseudotime using the same explicit high-order discontinuous Galerkin method we use for the flow solution. The flow and the gravity solvers operate on a joint hierarchical Cartesian mesh and are two-way coupled via the source terms. A key benefit of our approach is that it allows the reuse of existing explicit hyperbolic solvers without modifications, while retaining their advanced features such as non-conforming and solution-adaptive grids. By updating the gravitational field in each Runge-Kutta stage of the hydrodynamics solver, high-order convergence is achieved even in coupled multi-physics simulations. After verifying the expected order of convergence for single-physics and multi-physics setups, we validate our approach by a simulation of the Jeans gravitational instability. Furthermore, we demonstrate the full capabilities of our numerical framework by computing a self-gravitating Sedov blast with shock capturing in the flow solver and adaptive mesh refinement for the entire coupled system.