[Press and Public Relations] Colliding Stars, Planet Formation, Black Holes - All at the University of Leicester!



September 2001

No 113

A conference at the University of Leicester from 3rd - 7th September 2001 is presenting research carried out on one of the UK's largest supercomputers.

At the conference "UKAFF1: Computational Fluid Dynamics in Astrophysics" astronomers from around the world will present results of computer simulations carried out on the UK Astrophysical Fluids Facility (UKAFF). These simulations include colliding neutron stars (by Dr Stephan Rosswog, University of Leicester), collapsing clouds of gas to form stars and planets (by Dr Matthew Bate, University of Exeter) and violent eruptions on the surface of our own sun (by Dr Klaus Galsgaard, University of St Andrews).

The conference was formally opened by Professor Martin Ward (Vice Chairman, Science Committee, Particle Physics & Astronomy Research Council). He is keen to emphasise the importance of this conference and UKAFF. "Theoretical Astrophysics research in the UK has always been amongst the best in the world. UKAFF provides scientists with the computing facilities they need to keep the UK at the top".

UKAFF is a national supercomputing facility dedicated to theoretical astrophysics and is housed in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Leicester. It currently operates a 5M supercomputer funded jointly by HEFCE and the computer company SGI.

Professor Andrew King (UKAFF Director, University of Leicester) said "The high quality of science presented here demonstrates the success of this new national facility". Choosing Leicester as the location for UKAFF demonstrates the status of the astronomy research groups at the University. The theoretical astrophysics group led by Professor King was described as world leading in a recent peer review.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy now hosts three supercomputers, the 128 processor UKAFF computer, a 24 processor computer also dedicated to astronomy research, and the 64 processor computer operated by the university's new Mathematical Modelling Centre.

Further details about UKAFF can be found at http://www.ukaff.ac.uk. NOTE TO NEWSDESK: For more information, please ring +44 (0)116 252 2076.


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Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
Last updated: 25 September 2001 16:18
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