Unlike other scientists, astronomers do not have the luxury of running laboratory experiments. We can, however, design and trial theory through computer simulations. Finite processing speeds is a constant limitation on the detail of these simulations, leading to various methods attempting to balance resolution and size with computing time. The initial component of my PhD will be to measure gross properties of galaxies in massive cosmological hydrodynamic simulations as a function of time and compare these results with the more computationally efficient, but less detailed, semi-analytic models. Broader, long-term goals will be to utilise and develop these simulations to build on the theory of large-scale structure formation and galaxy evolution.
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