Cosmological radiative transfer comparison project - II. The radiation-hydrodynamic tests

Iliev, Ilian T. ; Whalen, Daniel ; Mellema, Garrelt ; Ahn, Kyungjin ; Baek, Sunghye ; Gnedin, Nickolay Y. ; Kravtsov, Andrey V. ; Norman, Michael ; Raicevic, Milan ; Reynolds, Daniel R. ; Sato, Daisuke ; Shapiro, Paul R. ; Semelin, Benoit ; Smidt, Joseph ; Susa, Hajime ; Theuns, Tom ; Umemura, Masayuki

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2009, vol. 400, no. 3, p. 1283-1316

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    The development of radiation hydrodynamical methods that are able to follow gas dynamics and radiative transfer (RT) self-consistently is key to the solution of many problems in numerical astrophysics. Such fluid flows are highly complex, rarely allowing even for approximate analytical solutions against which numerical codes can be tested. An alternative validation procedure is to compare different methods against each other on common problems, in order to assess the robustness of the results and establish a range of validity for the methods. Previously, we presented such a comparison for a set of pure RT tests (i.e. for fixed, non-evolving density fields). This is the second paper of the Cosmological Radiative Transfer Comparison Project, in which we compare nine independent RT codes directly coupled to gas dynamics on three relatively simple astrophysical hydrodynamics problems: (i) the expansion of an H ii region in a uniform medium, (ii) an ionization front in a 1/r2 density profile with a flat core and (iii) the photoevaporation of a uniform dense clump. Results show a broad agreement between the different methods and no big failures, indicating that the participating codes have reached a certain level of maturity and reliability. However, many details still do differ, and virtually every code has showed some shortcomings and has disagreed, in one respect or another, with the majority of the results. This underscores the fact that no method is universal and all require careful testing of the particular features which are most relevant to the specific problem at hand