Code designed by UdeC astronomer achieves international recognition

Krome It is an open source computer program that led to the birth of an entire school in which researchers, master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral students currently participate, more than 200 people have already been trained in its use.

It is for the above that the German Astronomical Association awarded the Dr Stefano Bovinothe Astrophysical Software Award, an award he received together with the German-based astronomer and member of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial PhysicsDr. Tommaso Grassi. The recognition, which for this category is given every two years, acknowledges the contribution of this platform used to describe the thermal evolution of gasincluding chemical and thermal processes in hydrodynamic simulations.

Professor Bovino explains that the Krome allows a better understanding of phenomena such as the formation of galaxies, stars and black holes. “With Krome we perform dynamic simulations to understand the physics of various regions of space. Normally what one wants to do is include the thermodynamics part, to know how both the temperature of the gas and the chemistry of the interstellar medium are regulated and evolved in order to be able to compare the theoretical results with the observations, ”he said.

An example of the application of KROME is in the study of molecular cloud formation. These areas, which measure hundreds of light years, have a high density of matter and low temperature, being one of the most important sectors in the processes of star formation. KROME allows data from the hydrodynamic part to be coupled with the thermochemical part, achieving a better understanding and simulation of the creation of these megastructures of the cosmos.

200 professionals trained at KROME

Since the creation of the code, work started in Rome on the 2011five computer training schools have been held, which have brought together 200 professionals from different parts of the world, who managed to acquire knowledge in this tool.

KROME has been widely accepted by the global astrophysical community and is used by experts to address various problems related to astrophysical environments. “Thus, a significant number of results have been obtained that were published in prestigious journals and still have a lot of potential for development, whose applications we will continue to see in the medium term”, commented the UDEC-CATA astronomer, Ronald Mennickent.

The recognition is part of several categories established by the German Astronomical Association, an association with more than a hundred years of life. Among the categories is the Karl Schwarzschild medal, considered -by the same entity- as one of the most prestigious awards in the field of astronomy and astrophysics; the Ludwig Biermann Award for outstanding young astronomers; and prize for the doctoral thesis, among others.

The winners of the Astrophysical Software Award will receive a diploma and a cash prize (three thousand euros, that is, about two million 750 thousand pesos), money that Stefano and Tommaso plan invest in instances that can benefit the student community or improve the code itself.

“We want invest the contest prize in a scholarship for studentsthat is, investing in our scientific community and helping to connect the development of the code”, concluded Professor Bovino.

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