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6 February 2006

Supermassive Black Holes merge in Supercomputer GRACE

Astrophysicists of the Astronomisches Rechen-Institut (Zentrum für Astronomie) invite to the presentation of their new supercomputer and of first results on February 7, 2006, 3.00 p.m., seminar room, Mönchhofstr. 12-14, 69120 Heidelberg (with movie presentation)

New computer models of galaxies show a much faster merging of supermassive black holes in galaxies as previously thought. A combination of three favourable circumstances led to this result:

32 PCs bilden den Rechencluster GRACE am ARI.    Jeder PC enthält eine GRAPE Spezialrechnerkarte (am großen Lüfter erkennbar).
Jeder PC erhält zusätzlich neue Einsteckkarten, entwickelt an der Universität Mannheim (MPRACE) mit neuartigen rekonfigurierbaren Prozessorchips.
Upper left: 32 PCs constitute the compute cluster GRACE at the ARI.
Upper right: every PC contains a GRAPE spezial compute board (identifiable for its large fan). GRAPE computers were developed by astronomers at the Univ. of Tokyo, Japan http://www.astrogrape.org
Lower left: every PC gets an additional compute board, developed at the University of Mannheim (MPRACE) with a new kind of reconfigurable processor chip.

Schnappschüsse der neuen Simulationen mit dem GRACE-Rechner. Grüne Punkte: zentrale Schwarze Löcher; von links oben nach rechts unten zeitliche Entwicklung.

Figures from upper left to lower right: snapshots of the new simulations with the GRACE computer. Green dots: central black holes and their evolution in the galaxy; Clearly visible ist he formation of a barlike structure, as it is observed in many galaxies; in the last picture, after some 100 million years, the two black holes came close enough together, that they will undergo a fast merger under emission of gravity waves. Through these results new predictions for present and future space projects to measure gravity waves can be made; this would further solidify Einstein's theory of relativity.

This is a collaborative research with the departments of astrophysics (Prof. David Merritt) and computer science (Hans-Peter Bischof) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), State of New York, USA.

Further Informations: http://www.volkswagenstiftung.de/presse-news/presse04/02072004.htm

Please address any inquiries to:
Questions to:
Prof. Dr. Rainer Spurzem
Astronomisches Rechen-Institut (ARI)
Zentrum für Astronomie Universität Heidelberg (ZAH)
Mönchhofstrasse 12-14, 69120 Heidelberg
Tel. 06221 541830, Fax 541888

Dr. Michael Schwarz
Press Officer of the University of Heidelberg
phone: 06221/542310, fax: 54317

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