Hanno Rein, University of Toronto at Scarborough, Department for Physical and Environmental Sciences
The Numerical Challenges of Simulating Planetary Systems
Abstract: The diverse population of extrasolar planets keeps challenging theories of planet formation. Multi-planetary systems are of particular interest as their dynamical architectures allow us to constrain an otherwise unobservable formation phase.
I'll talk about some of the numerical challenges when running accurate long term simulations of planetary systems. Even though we are solving differential equations that have been known since Newton's time, several breakthroughs were made only very recently with the help of clever numerical algorithms. Among these is the discovery that one percent of all realization of the Solar System lead to collisions between planets within the life-time of the Sun.
Biography: My main appointment is at the University of Toronto at Scarborough where I am a member of the Department for Physical and Environmental Sciences. My graduate appointments are at the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and the Department of Physics. I'm also the director of the Centre for Planetary Sciences
I'm very interested in numerical methods, in particular N-body codes and integration methods for planetary systems. Other research interests include planet formation, stochastic processes, planet migration, celestial mechanics, Saturn's rings, hydrodynamics, code development and high performance computing.