The animations and movies created by the Astrophysics Theory Group
of Bishop's University are copyrighted. They are intended to be used
(and are distributed freely) for educational purposes and research presentations.
They are not to be used in settings where an admission is charged. Furthermore,
they are not to be edited or otherwise changed without
The animations have been encoded using the most popular video formats:
(1) QuickTime Movie (MOV); (2) MPEG1 (MPG); and, (3) Windows Media Video (WMV). You can
obtain the free QuickTime player by downloading it from the following site.
Most of the animations are "high-resolution" and thus the file sizes are large (8 to 26 MBytes) and require a good video subsystem
that can handle the high throughput. Two much smaller and lower resolution versions have been created
(about 2 MB each) in the Windows Video format.
The evolutionary animations were calculated using the Beowulf-class cluster computer
Elix2. Each simulation
corresponded to a different set of initial conditions (i.e., different initial masses
of the donor star and neutron star, and different chemical compositions). A time sequence
of approximately one million models was computed for each simulation. Each simulation
required approximately 1015 floating point operations (Flops) and generated about 100 GB
of data (of which 1% was saved). After the post processing of the data, the animations were
rendered using Caligari's Truespace3 animation application, and the final movie
was compiled using Adobe Premiere.
Evolution of a Low-Mass Binary Millisecond Pulsar (BMSP)
A detailed commentary explaining the features and context of the animation (as well as the various stages
in the evolution of the binary) can be found here.
"Evolutionary Properties of Low-Mass, Degenerate Dwarfs in Binaries
Containing Compact Companions", NELSON, L.A., Dubeau, E. & MacCannell, K.
Astrophysical Journal, in press. (2004) [PDF file]
"Theoretical Considerations on the Properties of Accreting Millisecond Pulsars", NELSON, L.A. & Rappaport, S.
Astrophysical Journal, 598, 431. (2003) [PDF file]