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Volker Springel is renowned for his transformative work in computational astrophysics, which he carried out at the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, at Heidelberg University, and at the Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching. He developed the parallel simulation code GADGET, one of the most widely employed computer codes in cosmology worldwide. Using large supercomputers, he carried out the Millennium Simulation, which accurately reproduced the observed large-scale clustering of galaxies and was instrumental in validating the standard cosmological model, where the matter content of the Universe is dominated by cold dark matter and a dark energy field causes an accelerated expansion today.
More recently, Springel introduced an innovative moving-mesh technique for cosmological hydrodynamics and implemented it in the new AREPO code. Using this technique, it has become possible to follow the formation of galaxies with unprecedented accuracy. In his Illustris simulation, he for example predicted for the first time a realistic mix of galaxy morphologies out of the initial conditions left behind by the Big Bang.
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