PI: Bhargav Vaidya
Computational astrophysics opens new windows in the way we perceive and study the heavens. This rapidly growing new discipline in astronomy combines modern computational methods and algorithms to simulate and analyse data so as to discover new phenomena, and to make predictions in astronomy, cosmology and planetary sciences.
Research in area of Computational Astrophysics is led by Dr Bhargav Vaidya whose research interests cover a wide range of topics closely associated with Computational and theoretical aspects of Astrophysics. In particular, the main aim of his research is to develop synthetic observatory for multiple astrophysical sources to bridge results from state-of-the-art simulations with observations and develop templates that can predict and or verify various features observed using existing and up-coming observatories like ALMA, Lofar, SKA, TMT and CTA.
At present, the focus is on astrophysical jets that are a ubiquitous phenomenon seen in a wide variety of astrophysical sources like young stellar objects, Active galactic nuclei, Pulsar wind nebulae etc. The current goal is to study the interplay of different processes that are responsible to accelerate particles to very high energies in these jets. Additionally, the goal is to combine these acceleration mechanisms with various processes that contribute to radiative losses via synchrotron and Inverse Compton to produce non-thermal emission commonly observed in jets. The condition for stability and the physics of magnetic energy dissipation in large-scale collimated jets are also the major research interest of this group.
The synthetic observatory that will primarily be developed for Astrophysical jets will pave a new and versatile pathway to expand research capabilities in the area of space weather modelling, simulating radio haloes, triggered star formation, accretion disk physics and microscopic behaviour of astrophysical plasma.
Dr. Vaidya is one of the integral developer of a widely popular astrophysical code called PLUTO http://plutocode.ph.unito.it and has a strong collaborations with the developers in University of Torino, Italy.