We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

URCHIN : a reverse ray tracer for astrophysical applications.

Altay, G. and Theuns, Tom (2013) 'URCHIN : a reverse ray tracer for astrophysical applications.', Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society., 434 (1). pp. 748-764.


We describe URCHIN, a reverse ray-tracing radiative transfer scheme optimized to model self-shielding from the post-reionization ultraviolet (UV) background in cosmological simulations. The reverse ray-tracing strategy provides several benefits over forward ray-tracing codes including: (1) the preservation of adaptive density field resolution; (2) completely uniform sampling of gas elements by rays; (3) the preservation of Galilean invariance; (4) the ability to sample the UV background spectrum with hundreds of frequency bins; and (5) exact preservation of the input UV background spectrum and amplitude in optically thin gas. The implementation described here focuses on smoothed particle hydrodynamics. However, the method can be applied to any density field representation in which resolution elements admit ray intersection tests and can be associated with optical depths. We characterize the errors in our implementation in stages beginning with comparison to known analytic solutions and ending with a realistic model of the z = 3 cosmological UV background incident on to a suite of spherically symmetric models of gaseous galactic haloes.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Radiative transfer, Methods: numerical, Intergalactic medium, Quasars: absorption lines, Diffuse radiation, Ultraviolet: general.
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2013 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:30 June 2014
Date of first online publication:September 2013
Date first made open access:No date available

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar