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Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia

N-body Simulations with Live Stellar Evolution

Ross P. Church A B D , Christopher A. Tout B and Jarrod R. Hurley A C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Centre for Stellar and Planetary Astrophysics, School of Mathematical Sciences, Monash University, Vic 3800, Australia

B Institute of Astronomy, The Observatories, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK

C Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Vic 3122, Australia

D Corresponding author. Email:

Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia 26(1) 92-102
Submitted: 8 December 2008  Accepted: 2 February 2009   Published: 2 April 2009


An N-body code containing live stellar evolution through combination of the software packages nbody6 and stars is presented. Operational details of the two codes are outlined and the changes that have been made to combine them discussed. We have computed the evolution of clusters of 104 stars using the combined code and we compare the results with those obtained using nbody6 and the synthetic stellar evolution code sse. We find that, providing the physics package within stars is set up correctly to match the parameters of the models used to construct sse, the results are very similar. This provides a good indication that the new code is working well. We also demonstrate how this physics can be changed simply in the new code with convective overshooting as an example. Similar changes in sse would require considerable reworking of the model fits. We conclude by outlining proposed future development of the code to include more complete models of single stars and binary star systems.

Keywords: stars: evolution — stars: mass-loss — methods: N-body simulations — methods: numerical — open clusters and associations: general


The authors would like to thank Sverre Aarseth for the use of the nbody6 N-body code and much patient assistance during its adoption and use; without his help this work would have not been possible. R.P.C is grateful to PPARC for a scholarship and to the Australian Research Council Discovery Project for support under grant DP0663447. C.A.T is grateful to Prof. John Lattanzio for funding his sabbatical leave in Australia and to Churchill College Cambridge for a fellowship. J.R.H is grateful to the Australian Research Council for a fellowship.


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