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Introduction

The Stars & Planets Group is part of the Swinburne Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing. Swinburne University of Technology is in Melbourne, Australia. The interests of the group range from star and planet formation (including formation of molecular clouds, the dynamics and evolution of disks around young single and binary stars, the early stages of planet growth from mircons to metres, and the effects of planets on the evolution of protostellar disks); stellar dynamics and evolution (N-body simulations of star cluster evolution and destruction, formation of exotic stars and binaries); and binary population synthesis.

The group currently includes researchers Prof Sarah Maddison, Prof Jarrod Hurley, Mr Luca Rossi, Mr Mark Hutchison, Ms Elodie Thilliez, Ms Anna Sippel and Dr Juan Madrid. We are inviting PhD students and postdoctoral fellows to joins us. The group collaborates with researchers in France, Switzerland, Canada, UK, the Netherlands and the USA.

Facilities

The Group members make extensive use of the Centre's supercomputer, the Green machine (153 x Dell Power Edge 1950 nodes, each with2 quad-core Clovertown 2.33 GHz processors - providing 1224 CPUs in total). We also make the VPAC (Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing) clusters, and the APAC (Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing) cluster.

The group has a two-phase, MPI parallel dusty gas code for making planets, as well as various Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) codes for following accretion disk dynamics. They also make use of a single scattering radiative transfer code for making synthetic near-IR images of disks. We have rapid stellar and binary evolution codes for synthesizing large stellar populations and a N-body code for performing realistic simulations of star clusters. In addition we have various graphics and visualisation tools, as well as the Centre's Virtual Reality theatre for 3D visualisation.

The group has successfully been awarded observing time on the Australia Telescope Compact Array millimetre interferometer, the Mopra millimetre telescope, the Submillimeter Array, NANTEN2, APEX, Gemini, VLT, and the Hubble Space Telescope.