Over the past decade, I have worked a fair bit on numerical simulations mostly in connection with the astrophysics of galaxies. Nowadays, you need to master N-body codes for cold dark matter simulations, hydrodynamic codes to track the gas evolution, and ionization codes to trace how the gas evolves through different phases (ionized, neutral, chemical composition). Much of this work has been carried out with colleagues who share a love of theoretical astrophysics: Ken Freeman (ANU Canberra), Alice Quillen (Rochester NY), Phil Maloney (Colorado), Ralph Sutherland (ANU Canberra), Geoff Bicknell (ANU Canberra), Sanjib Sharma (Sydney) and Geraint Lewis (Sydney).
A longstanding collaborator is Phil Maloney. Together, we developed the disk-halo ionization code which purports to map the soft and hard radiation field throughout the Galactic halo. This is still maintained by us. The following figure derived from our model appears in Fox et al (2005):
Another longstanding collaborator is Ralph Sutherland, the author of the Fyris and Mappings codes. We used these codes in understanding how the Magellanic Stream breaks down as it orbits the Galaxy. Research Fellow Thorsten Tepper-Garcia is now extending these simulations. Here are some relevant movies:
Recent work with PhD David Webster has concentrated on the minimum mass that a dark halo can possess if it is to survive a supernova explosion (one shot dwarfs).
Geraint Lewis and I have had some successful PhD projects working with Gadget II. PhD Holly Trowland looked at the alignment of galaxy spins with large-scale structure as a function of cosmic time. PhD Tom McCavana looked at galaxy mergers in the early universe. PhD Matt Nichols (now ETH Fellow in Geneva) has looked at the evolution of dwarf galaxies in the Local Group and in nearby groups. PhD Magda Guglielmo is looking at more realistic orbits for the Magellanic Clouds and the Magellanic Stream given the latest observations.
One of the most exciting software developments is the Galaxia code led by Sanjib Sharma and me with James Binney (Oxford) and Kathryn Johnstone (Columbia NY). This is being extended with MCMC techniques by Sanjib with PhD Prajwal Kafle.