We describe the astrophysical and numerical basis of N -body simulations, both of collisional stellar systems (dense star clusters and galactic centres) and collisionless stellar dynamics (galaxies and large-scale structure). We explain and discuss the state-of-the-art algorithms used for these quite different regimes, attempt to give a fair critique, and point out possible directions of future improvement and development. We briefly touch upon the history of N -body simulations and their most important results.
European Physical Journal Plus
- Pub Date:
- May 2011
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics;
- Physics - Computational Physics
- invited review (28 pages), to appear in European Physics Journal Plus