Frequently Asked Questions

What is the lowest alpha viscosity for a disc that Phantom can simulate?

The default way of including disc viscosity in SPH is to modify the artificial viscosity to mimic a physical viscosity. Details are given in Lodato & Price (2010) or in the Phantom paper. The Shakura-Sunyaev alpha is related to alpha_AV according to

alpha_SS = 1/10 alpha_AV <h>/H

where is the mean smoothing length in an annulus and H is the disc scale height at that annulus.

  1. Lowest meaningful value of alpha_AV is 0.1 (see e.g. Meru & Bate 2010; lower than this and you will get spreading independent of the value of alpha_AV due to particle jitter).

  2. For a disc simulated with 10^6 SPH particles we typically resolve the scale height by 2-5 resolution lengths, giving h/H ~ 0.2 – 0.5.

  3. So therefore the lowest alpha_SS you can simulate at this resolution is 2 - 5 x 10^-3. To reach a lower alpha_SS, you have to lower /H, which means using more particles.

If your desire is simply to minimise the numerical viscosity in the code, rather than represent a physical disc viscosity, you should simply turn off the DISC_VISCOSITY flag. This way you are just using the shock viscosity with the switch that minimises dissipation away from shocks. Using the disc viscosity flag turns off the switches (see Lodato & Price 2010).

How does the code identify accreted particles?

use part, only:isdead_or_accreted
if (.not.isdead_or_accreted(xyzh(4,i)) then
   print 'particle ',i,' is not accreted'

How can I remove particles from the simulation?

to kill particles (not the same as accreted), use

call kill_particle(i)

to remove dead particles from the array

call shuffle_part(npart)

How do I make a movie?

Type /png instead of /xw at the splash command prompt. This generates a series of images splash_0000.png splash_0001.png etc.

use the script provided to make a movie:


which just executes ffmpeg as follows

ffmpeg -i splash_%04d.png -r 10 -vb 50M -bt 100M -vcodec mpeg4 -vf setpts=4.*PTS movie.mp4

What does PHANTOM stand for? Is it an acronym?

Pretty Hot And Nifty Tool Or Method

Particle Hydrodynamics And N-body Toolkit On Methamphetamines

Price Hangs A Neat Ten: Oh, My!