Frans Pretorius
Research Interests
My primary field of research is
Einstein's theory of general
relativity, and I specialize in numerical solution of the field
equations. Some of my current projects include: understanding the
nature of binary compact object (black hole and neutron star) mergers and
the
gravitational waves emitted during the collision, critical phenomena at
the threshold of gravitational collapse, the stability and dynamics of
higher dimensional black holes, and the nature of singularities that
generically appear in black hole and cosmological spacetimes. The
nonlinearity and complexity of Einstein's equations make it
challenging to solve even numerically, and some portion of my
time is spent designing algorithms to efficiently
solve the equations in parallel on large computer clusters, and
software to manipulate and visualize the simulation results.












(a) 



(b) 

(c) 
(d) 
(e) 
(f) 
(g) 

Animations: (a) gravitational waves
and (b) lapse function from an equal mass binary black hole merger, (c)
apparent horizon embedding diagram of an unstable 5 dimensional black
string, (d) spherically symmetric and (e) prolate scalar field critical
collapse (in spherical polar coordinates with logarithmic radial and
time coordinates), the latter showing what may be an instability of the
scalar field threshold solution, (f) complex scalar field critical
collapse with angular momentum, prolate initial data, again exhibiting
similar unstable behavior as the real field (g) fluid restmass density
from a black holeneutron star merger.
Publications: grqc
listing
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Other Affiliations
Distinguished Research Chair, Perimeter Institute
Simons Investigator
Affiliate Faculty, Program
in Applied and Computational Mathematics, Princeton University
Associated Faculty, Department
of Mathematics, Princeton
University
Associate, Canadian Institute for Advanced
Research (CIfAR) Cosmology
and Gravity Program
Former Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (20072011)
Some of the material presented here is based upon work supported
in part by
the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0745779
last updated: October 14, 2012