Simulating cosmic structure at high resolution: Towards a billion particles?
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Cosmic structure simulations have improved enormously over the past decade,
both in terms of the resolution which can be achieved, and with the addition of
hydrodynamic and other techniques to formerly purely gravitational methods.
This is an informal, and perhaps idiosyncratic, overview of the state and
progress of cosmological simulations over this period.
I will discuss the strategies that are used to understand cosmic structure
formation and the requirements of a successful simulation. The computational
demands of cosmological simulations in general will be highlighted as will
specific features of the various different algorithms that are used. The
incessant push for greater resolution has lead to an increasing use of parallel
computers. The desirability - or otherwise - of this trend will be discussed
together with alternative techniques which sidestep the naive drive for greater