Richardson awarded computational time to simulate gas around black holes

Chris Richardson, associate professor of astrophysics at Elon, and a collaborator at UNC-Chapel Hill will receive the equivalent of $6,000 in computational resources from a National Science Foundation-funded program.

Chris Richardson, associate professor of astrophysics

Chris Richardson recently received an award valued at approximately $6,000 in computing time on the San Diego Supercomputing Cluster known as Comet. The award was subject to a peer-reviewed approval process similar to the National Science Foundation through the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) portal.

The award will be used to simulate the emission of light originating from gaseous clouds that surround black holes in dwarf galaxies. The predictions will allow astronomers to determine the physical properties of nearby galaxies based off of existing observations and also serve as motivation for follow up observations with current facilities.

Richardson, an associate professor of astrophysics and the principal investigator for the XSEDE award, will use the award in conjunction with Elon undergraduate researchers, like Connor Simpson ’21 who currently investigates galaxies with active black holes at their centers. Richardson’s research is conducted as part of the RESOLVE collaboration based in UNC-Chapel with RESOLVE principal investigator, Sheila Kannappan, who is a Co-PI for this award.