Solving Einstein's Equations on a Supercomputer
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**Session 50 -- Grand Challenges in Computational Astrophysics Part I**
*Oral presentation, Wednesday, 1, 1994, 8:30-12:30*

## [50.04] Solving Einstein's Equations on a Supercomputer

*S.L.Shapiro (Cornell)*
Einstein's theory of general relativity is widely accepted as the correct
description of relativistic gravity. Consequences of the theory like black
holes are routinely used to account for
the properties of astrophysical phenomena such as quasars and AGNs.
Many high-precision tests of
general relativity have been carried out to confirm the theory. However,
all of these tests probe only the weak-field, slow-velocity limit of the
theory. These are the lowest order corrections to Newtonian gravitation
theory. There are no experiments as yet that test the strong field
character of the theory. Processes such as the formation of black holes
or gravitational radiation from colliding black holes are required to
test the strong field regime.
Large-scale computations on supercomputers provide the only way to
probe strong field phenomena at present. The field is still in its
infancy but numerical relativity has already provided useful insights
into the nature of relativistic gravitation. Already, the collapse of fluid
stars and collisionless star clusters to black holes can be followed
in spherical and axisymmetry. The collision of relativistic
stars and clusters, as well as black holes, can also be studied by numerical
means, although only the head-on case has been
treated so far. Simulations have even been performed which suggest the
formation of naked singularities and the possible violation of
cosmic censorship. A computer-generated
color video highlighting some of these findings will be presented.

**Wednesday
program listing**