Her project COSMIC-KEY aims to create the most realistic simulations yet of galaxy formation and its consequences for cosmic evolution and cosmic structures.
This includes the influence of the central black holes not only on the rate of star formation in galaxies but, crucially, on the physical properties of the gas that surrounds galaxies and permeates dark-matter halos. These models will be based on fundamental physics, notably the equations of hydrodynamics, and will require the development of novel and more efficient ways of performing the underlying calculations, and of translating the physics of galaxy formation into numerical code. The comparison of model versions with different cosmological parameter values with the available observational data will focus on the information from measuring the X-ray and Sunyaev-Zel’dovich signatures of massive groups and clusters of galaxies – information of the kind that eROSITA and other observatories can supply.
Dr. Pillepich is employed by the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, and teaches and supervises students at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Heidelberg University.