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Alice Harpole

Alice Harpole

SSI fellow

PhD Candidate, School of Mathematics, University of Southampton


Astrophysics, general relativity, modelling fluids in strong gravitational fields (general relativistic hydrodynamics), burning and explosions, neutron stars, high performance computing, parallel computing

My work

In my PhD research, I model explosions that occur on the surface of neutron stars. From some of these stars, flashes of X-ray radiation are frequently observed. These are thought to be produced by nuclear explosions in a liquid surface layer. Neutron stars are very extreme objects which rotate several hundred times per second and have incredibly strong gravitational fields. I'm investigating what the effects of these strong fields and fast rotation might be on the physics of the explosions. I do this by building numerical simulations, using parallel computing to allow me to run high resolution models in a reasonable length of time. 

As part of my work, I have both built my own codes and used codes built by others in my scientific field. In the process, I have found that often these codes were built primarily with science in mind and therefore could be improved from a software sustainability point of view. It is my goal to use the SSI fellowship to educate my fellow researchers in the importance of reproducible, well tested and well documented code, show how to build more sustainable code and demonstrate how existing codes can be improved so that they meet higher standards of software sustainability. 

Online Presence

You can follow me @_harpolea, and you can read more about my research and see videos of some of my simulations on my University web page.

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