Accelerated 3D General Purpose Radiative Transfer Codes

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Physics and Astronomy


1. Creation of an advanced suite of 3-d radiative transfer applications that would be able to simulate the transport of e-m radiation in clumpy media; be able treat radiative transfer through gas and/or particles; and treat media in thermodynamic and non-thermodynamic equilibrium. These applications would be published as open source material.
2. These applications would be written so that they would run in a performant way on x86, many core and FPGA architectures.
3. These applications would be written in such a way that they could take advantage of heterogeneous architectures and offload techniques
4. These applications would be used to model the energy balance and chemistry of (i) the very early Universe and (ii) the supernova remnants and their environs.


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Ceuster F (2022) 3D Line Radiative Transfer & Synthetic Observations with Magritte in Journal of Open Source Software

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Danilovich T (2019) An ALMA view of CS and SiS around oxygen-rich AGB stars in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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De Ceuster F (2019) MAGRITTE: a new multidimensional accelerated general-purpose radiative transfer code in Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union

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Decin L (2020) (Sub)stellar companions shape the winds of evolved stars. in Science (New York, N.Y.)

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De Ceuster F (2020) magritte, a modern software library for 3D radiative transfer: I. Non-LTE atomic and molecular line modelling in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/P510683/1 30/09/2016 29/09/2021
1878976 Studentship EP/P510683/1 17/05/2017 29/09/2021 Frederik De Ceuster
Description The transport of electromagnetic radiation plays a crucial role throughout astrophysics. Not only does it determine what we can or cannot observe, it can affect dynamics through radiative pressure, disrupt chemistry via photon-reactions and provides a very efficient heating and cooling mechanism. Computing radiation transport in 3D geometries is a challenging endeavor, mainly due to the large computational cost. We showed that typical 3D input models resulting form astrophysical hydrodynamics simulations can be reduced in size by and order of magnitude without significantly affecting the accuracy of radiative transfer computations on those models, thus allowing to significantly reduce the computational cost. This method was implemented in the open-source Magritte 3D radiative transfer library.
Exploitation Route The mesh reduction technique can be used by anyone who needs radiatvie transfer, ranging from exoplanet atmosphere research all the way to sopernovae, by using the Magritte software library.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Energy,Environment