Jürg Diemand - SNF Professor

 Institute for Computational Sciences
University of Zürich
Winterthurerstr. 190
8057 Zürich
Switzerland
+41 44 63 55820, Office: Y11 G50
email: diemand 'at' physik.uzh.ch

Research interests: Computational Physics using Particle Methods

Computational physics, large scale simulations using particle methods (molecular dynamics / N-Body), structure formation, non-equilibrium systems, phase transitions, emergent properties.


Large scale molecular dynamics simulations

We use very large (up to 8 billion atoms, millions of time-steps) molecular dynamics simulations to study phase transitions. Many examples are familiar from everyday life (e.g. condensation of vapor in the atmosphere, bubble formation in liquids) and play an important role in many areas of science and technology.

Accurate preditions of the transition speeds (nucleation rates) seen in computer and lab experiments are still not possible, due to insufficient knowledge about the properties of the smallest nano-scale objects in the new phase. The unprecedented size of our simulations now allows to form them in significant numbers under realistic conditions.

one of our large scale MD nucleation simulations with zoom into a small subregion
For more details see here and here. This project was made possible by a large allocation of computation time (35.5 million CPU hours) by PRACE and support from the SNF.

Dark matter and cosmological structure formation

We use very large N-body simulations to study the formation of dark matter structures in Cosmology. We are especially interested in the dark matter distribution in the halo around the Milky Way (see the via lactea project) and in very "small" scales (a few hundred AU), on which the smallest cold dark matter microhalos form (see e.g. nature.com).

We also apply our simulations results to investigations into the nature of dark matter and its detection, and to the on the distribution of the first black holes and the kinematics of stellar halos and globular cluster systems.

For more details see the papers on astro/ph, SPIRES HEP or NASA ADS or visit the links below.



the via lactea project

high resolution simulations of Milky Way dark matter halos a small part of the Via Lactea halo



The first structures in the early universe

See the news articles on nature.com, newscientist.com and astronomy.com.

Additional pictures of these first structures are available here.

More simulation pictures and movies: