External Potentials

SWIFT can be run with an external potential on this page we will summarize the current potentials which can be run with SWIFT and how to implement your own potential in SWIFT.

Implemented External Potentials

Currently there are several potentials implemented in SWIFT. On this page we give a short overview of the potentials that are implemented in the code:

  1. No potential (none)

  2. Point mass potential (point-mass): classical point mass, can be placed at a position with a mass.

  3. Plummer potential (point-mass-softened): in the code a softened point mass corresponds to a Plummer potential, can be placed at a position with a mass.

  4. Isothermal potential (isothermal): An isothermal potential which corresponds to a density profile which is \(\propto r^{-2}\) and a potential which is logarithmic. This potential has as free parameters the rotation velocity and the position.

  5. Hernquist potential (hernquist): A potential that is given by the Hernquist potential:

    \(\Phi(r) = - \frac{GM}{r+a}.\)

    The free parameters of Hernquist potential are mass, scale length, and softening. The potential can be set at any position in the box.

  6. NFW potential (nfw): The most used potential to describe dark matter halos, the potential is given by:

    \(\Phi(r) = - \frac{4\pi G \rho_0 R_s^3}{r} \ln \left( 1+ \frac{r}{R_s} \right).\)

    This potential has as free parameters the concentration of the DM halo, the virial mass (\(M_{200}\)) and the critical density.

  7. NFW poential + Miyamoto-Nagai potential (nfw_mn): This includes and NFW potential (identical to nfw) plus an axisymmetric Miyamoto-Nagai potential. The Miyamoto-Nagai potential is given by:

    \(\Phi(R,z) = - \frac{G M_{d}}{\sqrt{R^2 + \left ( R_d + \sqrt{z^2 + Z_d^2} \right )^2}}\),

    where \(R^2 = x^2 + y^2\) is the projected radius and \(M_d\), \(R_d\), \(Z_d\) are the mass, scalelength and scaleheight of the disk (in internal units), respectively.

  8. Sine wave (sine-wave)

  9. Point mass ring (point-mass-ring)

  10. Disc Patch (disc-patch)

How to implement your own potential

The first step in implementing your own potential is making a directory of your potential in the src/potential folder and creating a file in the folder called potential.h.

Configuring the potential

To get started you can copy a potential.h file from an already implemented potential. In this potential the header guards (e.g. #IFDEF <>) need to be changed to the specific potential and the struct and potential_init_backend need to be changed such that it uses your potential and reads the correct potential from the parameter file during running the program.

Add the potential to the potential.h file in the src directory such that the program knows that it is possible to run with this potential.

Furthermore during the configuration of the code it also needs to be clear for the program that the code can be configured to run with the different potentials. This means that the configure.ac file needs to be changed. This can be done to add an other case in the potential:

case "$with_potential" in
      AC_DEFINE([EXTERNAL_POTENTIAL_NONE], [1], [No external potential])
      AC_DEFINE([EXTERNAL_POTENTIAL_NEWPOTENTIAL], [1], [New external potential])

After this change it is possible to configure the code to use your new potential.