Professor Dinshaw Balsara

Associate Professor, Astrophysics

Concurrent Associate Professor, Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics

M.S., (Physics) Indian Inst. of Tech., Kanpur, 1982

M.S., (Astronomy) University of Chicago, 1989

Ph.D., Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1990

Associate Editor, Journal of Computational Physics

Associate Editor, Computational Astrophysics and Cosmology

I have a dual training in physics and astrophysics. My Ph.D. was in computational astrophysics where I designed and compared several popular schemes for astrophysical fluid dynamics and also applied them to the study of extragalactic jets. I subsequently worked on several problems in active galactic nuclei, studying the accretion on to central engines, starburst galaxies and galaxies in clusters. More recently, I have developed computational applications in the areas of interstellar medium, turbulence, star formation, planet formation, the physics of accretion disks, compact objects and relativistic astrophysics and I continue to work in all of those areas of research. I have also played a seminal role in formulating our modern conception of computational astrophysics. My work on divergence-free AMR-MHD has led me to break new ground in our understanding of numerical MHD. Seminal contributions have also been made in higher order WENO schemes and ADER time update strategies. I have played a leading role in formulating multidimensional Riemann solvers and showing their utility for MHD simulations as well as ALE simulations. I have also produced some of the best, most accurate and most robust methods for numerical MHD and have recently begun extending this expertise to radiative transfer as well as non-ideal processes that are often very useful in regulating astrophysical phenomena. Several of my papers have been cited over a hundred times. The above-mentioned numerical expertise is routinely applied to problems in all areas of computational astrophysics. In fact, the robust numerics was central to the process of carrying out path-breaking simulations of the supernova explosion-driven ISM turbulence. That work has resulted in many new insights into the nature of the multi-phase ISM and the evolution of magnetic fields in it. Novel insights have also been recently gained on the physics of accretion disk boundary layers and the physics of supernova remnants in the presence of anisotropic thermal conduction. The work has also been applied to star formation and planet formation studies and to the study of turbulence in general.