LIV.DAT student @ Virgo meeting

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Participants at the Virgo meeting.

From the 3rd to the 7th of December LIV.DAT student Alexander Hill took part in a meeting of the Virgo Consortium, held in Leiden at the Lorentz Institute. The Virgo Consortium is an international collaboration of astronomers using cosmological simulations to study the universe. With roughly fifty faculty staff, post-docs and PhD students in attendance, the meeting focussed on current work and plans for the future.

The week contained plenary sessions, led mostly by senior staff or the lead scientists, describing the current status of current and upcoming projects, such as EAGLE, APOSTLE, IllustrisTNG, APOGEE etc. LJMU’s own Rob Crain and Ian McCarthy delivered presentations in these sessions based on the E-MOSAICS and BAHAMAS simulations. Other talks were delivered by post-docs and PhD students, who described their research interests and highlighted their results. The subjects under discussion were highly varied, ranging from the development of new open-source base-codes for future simulations (e.g. SWIFT) to the link between galaxy gas-fraction and supermassive black hole mass. Alexander  delivered a talk  about his research into the intrinsic alignment of radio galaxies in the EAGLE simulation.

Several interactive ‘Hack Sessions’ (e.g SWIFT, SPH-Viewer) and ‘Brainstorming Sessions’ completed the event and the official social events were an excellent opportunity to make new connections with researchers across the globe.

Alexander Hill said: “As this was my first Virgo meeting, it was great to be able to put faces to the names I have seen heading seminal papers in the field. The suggestions I received after my talk were very insightful and well intentioned, and the techniques that I have become aware of following the meeting will be incorporated into my future research. I definitely will attend future events, the next being in Durham in 2019.”