Modeling UV Radiation Feedback from Massive Stars. I. Implementation of Adaptive Ray-tracing Method and Tests

Jeong Gyu Kim, Woong Tae Kim, Eve Charis Ostriker, M. Aaron Skinner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


We present an implementation of an adaptive ray-tracing (ART) module in the Athena hydrodynamics code that accurately and efficiently handles the radiative transfer involving multiple point sources on a three-dimensional Cartesian grid. We adopt a recently proposed parallel algorithm that uses nonblocking, asynchronous MPI communications to accelerate transport of rays across the computational domain. We validate our implementation through several standard test problems, including the propagation of radiation in vacuum and the expansions of various types of H ii regions. Additionally, scaling tests show that the cost of a full ray trace per source remains comparable to that of the hydrodynamics update on up to ∼ 103 processors. To demonstrate application of our ART implementation, we perform a simulation of star cluster formation in a marginally bound, turbulent cloud, finding that its star formation efficiency is 12% when both radiation pressure forces and photoionization by UV radiation are treated. We directly compare the radiation forces computed from the ART scheme with those from the M 1 closure relation. Although the ART and M 1 schemes yield similar results on large scales, the latter is unable to resolve the radiation field accurately near individual point sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number93
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 20 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • H II regions
  • methods: numerical
  • radiation: dynamics
  • radiative transfer
  • stars: formation


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling UV Radiation Feedback from Massive Stars. I. Implementation of Adaptive Ray-tracing Method and Tests'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this