The formation of stars is a process that is fundamental to the formation of the planets they host and the galaxies that they compose. But many aspects of star formation remain deeply mysterious to astrophysicists. It remains a difficult physics problem because it involves a multitude of physical processes acting simultaneously over a wide range of length- and time-scales. The equations can only be solved with numerical simulations, and Dr. Grudić will outline the basic procedure for taking these equations and translating them into a form that can be stepped forward in time on a supercomputer. He will then introduce the STARFORGE simulations, a new generation of high-resolution, multi-physics star formation simulations, and discuss some key insights on the nature of star formation that we have gained. He will conclude by highlighting some new interesting puzzles that have been run into as STARFORGE is pushed to the smaller scales of protoplanetary disks, and to the larger scales of the galactic environment. The frontier for making stars on computers involves linking the large range of scales together while accounting for yet more physical processes.
Dr. Grudić is a NASA Hubble Fellow at Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, CA. He is a founding member of the STARFORGE collaboration, and specializes in the theory of star formation and developing new methods for astrophysical simulations.