In the last few years we have seen incredible progress in the measurement of the properties of galaxies across the electromagnetic spectrum and cosmic time. However, there are many physical processes in galaxy formation and evolution that we still do not understand. From how the first galaxies formed to how supermassive black holes affect galaxies and many more, it has been the goal of numerical models and computing to advance our ability to simulate these processes and further our understanding of galaxy evolution and large scale structure as a whole.
Galaxy Evolution simulations combine all of the physical processes we understand within galaxy evolution, along with assumptions and models deduced to most realistically describe that which we don’t fully understand, and makes use of large amounts of computing power to solve the mathematical equations that describe them over cosmic time in hopes of reproducing what we see in the night sky. These models typically include gravity and fluid mechanics, as well as prescriptions for star formation, and black hole growth and feedback. The result of these simulations will give us an indication of whether we do truly understand the physical processes we’ve deduced from observations, whether new assumptions are required, and perhaps, give explanation to those physical processes we do not yet understand.