Particle methods in astrophysical fluid dynamics

Frederic A. Rasio*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Particle methods play an important role in the study of a wide variety of astrophysical fluid dynamics problems. The different methods currently in use are all variants of the so-called Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) scheme introduced by Lucy and Gingold & Monaghan more than twenty years ago. This paper presents a complete introduction to SPH in its modern form, and discusses some of the main numerical properties of the scheme. In particular, the convergence properties of SPH are studied, as a function of the number of particles N and the number of interacting neighbors NN, using a simple analysis based on sound waves. It is shown that consistency of SPH (i.e., convergence towards a physical solution) requires both N → ∞ and NN → ∞, with the smoothing length h → 0, i.e., NN/N → 0.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)609-621
Number of pages13
JournalProgress of Theoretical Physics Supplement
Issue number138
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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