Best papers from SC 2001View this Special Issue
Achieving Extreme Resolution in Numerical Cosmology Using Adaptive Mesh Refinement: Resolving Primordial Star Formation
As an entry for the 2001 Gordon Bell Award in the "special" category, we describe our 3-d, hybrid, adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) code Enzo designed for high-resolution, multiphysics, cosmological structure formation simulations. Our parallel implementation places no limit on the depth or complexity of the adaptive grid hierarchy, allowing us to achieve unprecedented spatial and temporal dynamic range. We report on a simulation of primordial star formation which develops over 8000 subgrids at 34 levels of refinement to achieve a local refinement of a factor of 1012 in space and time. This allows us to resolve the properties of the first stars which form in the universe assuming standard physics and a standard cosmological model. Achieving extreme resolution requires the use of 128-bit extended precision arithmetic (EPA) to accurately specify the subgrid positions. We describe our EPA AMR implementation on the IBM SP2 Blue Horizon system at the San Diego Supercomputer Center.