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Our research focuses on the modelling of complex physical systems via large-scale computing. Presently there are two active grants from the Austrian Science Foundation:

High Resolution Studies of Solar Surface Flows

Dynamic Stellar Atmospheres: Convection and Pulsation


At the center of the activities is the simulation and visualization of fluid flows, heat and radiation transfer. Our favorite flows are the convective motions in stars. Many stars - including our sun - posess extensive zones where the energy, which is generated deep within the star, is transported by motions of the stellar material rather than by radiation. These convection zones may influence drastically the structure of the whole star. They act also in many cases as a dynamo which generates a magnetic field, which - in the case of our sun - reverses polarity about every eleven years. The physical mechanisms of this dynamo action are but poorly understood.

In the last decade or so modelling of convection zones in three dimensions by large-scale computations has become increasingly feasible and is being performed by a number of groups. The problems which we are investigating concern


3D models of compressible convection (including realistic microphysics, radiative transfer, and, in the forseeable future, magnetic fields), in particular high resolution studies of solar granulation

investigation of momentum closure models of compressible convection


the role of subgrid modelling

and other items


In order to perform these studies major software developments, in particular of our software package ANTARES, have been done and are being pursued also presently in order to have codes available which are highly advanced from the standpoint of numerics and software design. Equally, much attention is being paid to the development of visualization tools. Our own visualization tool, VIVAT, is based upon the Visualization Toolkit (VTK); for volume rendering, we appreciate the use of VAPOR.

The research of H.J. Muthsam has, in the course of the years, been supported by the following institutions to whom I express my gratitude:

  • Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, Germany

  • Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research

  • Austrian Science Foundation

  • Max Planck Society, Germany

  • Research Fonds of the Austrian National Bank

  • Research Fonds of the City of Vienna