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Spacetime Spinoffs

As numerical relativity researchers evolve new computational methods, the tools and techniques they devise should prove valuble in seemingly unrelated areas of science and technology.

Though the Einstein equations are very complex, they share the following common features with important equations embedded in other science and engineering problems:

For example, some of the algorithms that rapidly solve the equations to high accuracy on parallel machines could also find applications in the oil industry. Industry seismologists need to understand how sound waves propagate through the Earth's crust.

Tackling this Grand Challenge requires that relativity scientists work closely with computer scientists and computer manufacturers to advance the state-of-the-art in the following areas:

Numerical relativity is particularly demanding in every one of these areas. Developing techniques to solve Einstein's equations will have broad impact throughout computational science and engineering.

Progress in numerical relativity will benefit other areas of astrophysics. Ultimately, researchers will develop codes that solve the complete, coupled spacetime-fluid equations that govern the evolution of all astrophysical systems, such as supernovae, neutron stars, accretion disks, quasars, and the universe itself.

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Copyright 1995, The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois

Ed Seidel, David Curtis, NCSA. Last modified 9/22/95.