COSMOS: A hybrid N-body/hydrodynamics code for cosmological problems

P. M. Ricker, S. Dodelson, D. Q. Lamb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe a new hybrid N-body/hydrodynamical code based on the particle-mesh (PM) method and the piecewise-parabolic method (PPM) for use in solving problems related to the evolution of large-scale structure, galaxy clusters, and individual galaxies. The code, named COSMOS, possesses several new features that distinguish it from other PM-PPM codes. In particular, to solve the Poisson equation we have written a new multigrid solver which can determine the gravitational potential of isolated matter distributions and which properly takes into account the finite-volume discretization required by PPM. All components of the code are constructed to work with a nonuniform mesh, preserving second-order spatial differences. The PPM code uses vacuum boundary conditions for isolated problems, preventing inflows when appropriate. The PM code uses a second-order variable-time-step time integration scheme. Radiative cooling and cosmological expansion terms are included. COSMOS has been implemented for parallel computers using the Parallel Virtual Machine (PVM) library, and it features a modular design which simplifies the addition of new physics and the configuration of the code for different types of problems. We discuss the equations solved by COSMOS and describe the algorithms used, with emphasis on these features. We also discuss the results of tests we have performed to establish that COSMOS works and to determine its range of validity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122-143
Number of pages22
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 1
StatePublished - Jun 10 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Dark matter
  • Gravitation
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Intergalactic medium
  • Large-scale structure of universe
  • Methods: numerical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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