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Jonah Miller


Computational Astrophysics

Jonah Miller

Office: TA-3, Bldg 1690, Room 142
Mail Stop: B258
Phone: (505) 665-8387
Fax: (505) 665-7652
home page

Research highlight
  • Discontinuous Galerkin Methods for General Relativity:
    Test functions for DG method
  • Relativistic Accretion After Binary Neutron Star Mergers:
    3d render of a disk
 Educational Background/Employment:
  • B.A., Summa Cum Laude in Physics and Mathematics (2013) - University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
  • PhD, Theoretical Physics (2017) - University of Guelph joint with the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Canada
  • 2017-Present, Postdoc at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Research Interests:

  • Compact Objects A compact object is the core of a dead star, so dense that general relativity is required to model it. Typically these are black holes and neutron stars. I am interested in using computer simulations to model these systems.
  • Kilanova Modeling The 2017 detection of the in-spiral and merger of two neutron stars was a landmark discovery in astrophysics. We now know that the merger of these ultracompact stellar remnants is a central engine of short gamma ray bursts and a site of r-process nucleosynthesis, where the heaviest elements in our universe are formed. In the coming years, we expect many more such mergers. Therefore, we now have the opportunity to ask---and answer---fundamental questions about these systems. What are the dynamics driving the gamma ray burst? Is the relativistic burst of material out the poles driven by neutrino annihilation or magnetic fields? What fraction of these so-called ``jets'' escapes and what fraction is slowed down by ambient material? What fraction of the r-process nucleosynthetic yields comes from material in the tidal tails of the merging stars and what fraction comes from wind driven off of material accreting onto the central remnant? The answers to these questions depend sensitively on a complex interplay of general relativity, plasma physics, nuclear physics, and neutrino physics. I model these systems using advanced computer simulations.
  • Numerical Methods For Partial Differential Equations From traffic flow, to fluids and plasmas, to neutrino radiation, differential equations help us model the world around us. I am interested in developing new, more efficient methods to solve these critical systems. In particular, my expertise lies in hyperbolic differential equations, such as the incompressible Euler equations or the BSSN Formulation of the Einstein equations. I am most interested in developing and applying spectral and discontinuous Galerkin methods, but I am also interested in finite volume methods and Monte Carlo methods. I have also become recently involved in efforts to combine machine learning approaches with these techniques.

Selected Recent Publications:

    See my full list of publications here
  1. J. Piotrowska, JMM, E, Schnetter Spectral Methods in the Presence of Discontinuities, arXiv:1712.09952
  2. L. Kidder et al. SpECTRE: A Task-Based Discontinuous Galerkin Code for Relativistic Astrophysics Journal of Computational Physics, DOI: 10.1016/
  3. JMM, E. Schnetter An Operator-Based Local Discontinuous Galerkin Method Compatible With the BSSN Formulation of the Einstein Equations Classical and Quantum Gravity, DOI: 10.1088/1361-6382/34/1/015003
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