N-body simulations of gravitational dynamics
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, LE17RH, Leicester, UK
2 Institute for Astronomy, Department of Physics, ETH Zürich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 16, CH-8093, Zürich, Switzerland
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Accepted: 29 April 2011
Published online: 30 May 2011
We describe the astrophysical and numerical basis of N -body simulations, both of collisional stellar systems (dense star clusters and galactic centres) and collisionless stellar dynamics (galaxies and large-scale structure). We explain and discuss the state-of-the-art algorithms used for these quite different regimes, attempt to give a fair critique, and point out possible directions of future improvement and development. We briefly touch upon the history of N -body simulations and their most important results.
© Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer, 2011