

Research Interests:
WhiskyMHD 

In several astrophysical scenarios, such as jets, gammaray bursts, accretion disks, collapses and mergers of neutron stars, the presence of very compact objects, such as neutron stars (NSs) and black holes (BHs), is combined with strong magnetic fields. Therefore the numerical solution of the full set of General Relativistic Magnetohydrodynamics (GRMHD) equations is often required. The high complexity of this system of equations requires advanced numerical techniques, the development of parallel codes and the use of powerful computational machines. The WhiskyMHD code solves the equations of general relativistic ideal MHD in 3D Cartesian coordinates on a curved dynamical background and it makes use of advanced numerical algorithms, such as High Resolution Shock Capturing schemes. The code guarantees the divergence free character of the magnetic field implementing schemes such as the constrained transport, the hyperbolic divergence cleaning method or by evolving the vector potential (fluxCD approach). Since it is based on the Cactus framework, this code is highly portable on different clusters and can easily implement Adaptive Mesh Refinement techniques, through the use of Carpet. The WhiskyMHD code has been extensively validated using several tests in both fixed and dynamical spacetimes showing to be able to handle situations in which other codes are reported to fail. The code has in particular been tested against exact solutions computed for the first time using the first general exact Riemann solver for relativistic MHD that I developed during my PhD in SISSA. It was also the first code to be tested evolving in full GRMHD stable models of magnetized neutron stars computed by the code LORENE (actually the magnetized NS in the logo on the top left of this web pages is the one used for these tests). Up to now I am aware of only another GRMHD code that was able to evolve stably these systems. One of the mayor difficulty is due to the presence of high magnetic fields both inside and outside the star. The WhiskyMHD code is actually being used to investigate the inspiral and merger of magnetized binary neutron stars and the dynamics of magnetized plasmas around merging supermassive black holes. 
