Title: An improved multipole approximation for self-gravity and its importance for core-collapse supernova simulations

Self-gravity computation by multipole expansion is a common approach in problems such as core-collapse and Type Ia supernovae, where single large condensations of mass must be treated. The standard formulation of multipole self-gravity in arbitrary coordinate systems suffers from two significant sources of error, which we correct in the formulation presented in this article. The first source of error is due to the numerical approximation that effectively places grid cell mass at the central point of the cell, then computes the gravitational potential at that point, resulting in a convergence failure of the multipole expansion. We describe a new scheme that avoids this problem by computing gravitational potential at cell faces. The second source of error is due to sub-optimal choice of location for the expansion center, which results in angular power at high multipole l values in the gravitational field, requiring a high—and expensive—value of multipole cutoff l {sub max}. By introducing a global measure of angular power in the gravitational field, we show that the optimal coordinate for the expansion is the square-density-weighted mean location. We subject our new multipole self-gravity algorithm, implemented in the FLASH simulation framework, to two rigorous test problems: MacLaurin spheroids for which exactmore » analytic solutions are known, and core-collapse supernovae. We show that key observables of the core-collapse simulations, particularly shock expansion, proto-neutron star motion, and momentum conservation, are extremely sensitive to the accuracy of the multipole gravity, and the accuracy of their computation is greatly improved by our reformulated solver.« less

Flash Center for Computational Science, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637 (United States)

Publication Date:

OSTI Identifier:

22341910

Resource Type:

Journal Article

Resource Relation:

Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 778; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)