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Stockholm University, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita).
2013 (English)In: Astrophysical Journal, ISSN 0004-637X, E-ISSN 1538-4357, Vol. 777, no 1, 13- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We introduce GRay, a massively parallel integrator designed to trace the trajectories of billions of photons in a curved spacetime. This graphics-processing-unit (GPU)-based integrator employs the stream processing paradigm, is implemented in CUDA C/C++, and runs on nVidia graphics cards. The peak performance of GRay using single-precision floating-point arithmetic on a single GPU exceeds 300 GFLOP (or 1 ns per photon per time step). For a realistic problem, where the peak performance cannot be reached, GRay is two orders of magnitude faster than existing central-processing-unit-based ray-tracing codes. This performance enhancement allows more effective searches of large parameter spaces when comparing theoretical predictions of images, spectra, and light curves from the vicinities of compact objects to observations. GRay can also perform on-the-fly ray tracing within general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic algorithms that simulate accretion flows around compact objects. Making use of this algorithm, we calculate the properties of the shadows of Kerr black holes and the photon rings that surround them. We also provide accurate fitting formulae of their dependencies on black hole spin and observer inclination, which can be used to interpret upcoming observations of the black holes at the center of the Milky Way, as well as M87, with the Event Horizon Telescope.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 777, no 1, 13- p.
Keyword [en]
gravitation, methods: numerical, radiative transfer
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-96867DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/777/1/13ISI: 000326147300013OAI: diva2:668283


Funding agencies:

NSF AST-1108753; NSF CAREER award AST-0746549; Chandra Theory grant TM2-13002X; Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University 

Available from: 2013-11-29 Created: 2013-11-28 Last updated: 2013-11-29Bibliographically approved

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