The Aquarius Project: Cold Dark Matter under a Numerical Microscope

Chapter · December 2008with3 Reads
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-540-69182-2_8


    The ‘Aquarius’ project currently performs the first ever one-billion particle simulation of a Milky Way-sized dark matter
    halo, improving resolution by a factor of more than 15 relative to previously published simulations of this type. This enables
    dramatic advances in our understanding of the structure and substructure of dark matter in our Galaxy. Our project seeks clues
    to the nature of the dark matter and aims to advance strategies for exploring the formation of our Galaxy, for searching for
    signals from dark matter annihilation, and for designing experiments for direct detection of dark matter. Here we report on
    the status of our calculations carried out on the HLRB-2 thus far, and discuss some of the early results we obtained. Our
    results show much better convergence for the properties of dark matter substructures than ever reported in the literature
    before. For the first time, we can reliably probe the central dark matter density cusp into a regime where the local logarithmic
    slope becomes shallower than−1. We also provide a description of the simulation code GADGET-3 developed specifically for
    this project, and highlight the new parallelization techniques we employed to deal with the extremely tightly coupled nature
    and high dynamic range of our simulations.