Joel E. Tohline

Department of Physics & Astronomy
Louisiana State University

Research Activities

My research has stemmed from a central theme of trying to understand the hydrodynamical evolution of self-gravitating, astrophysical systems, particularly when the geometry of such flows demand a fully three-dimensional representation. As is more fully documented in the accompanying pages that summarize my publication record, I have studied in detail problems that relate to star formation, gas-dynamical flows in galaxies, and compact stellar objects (such as white dwarfs and neutron stars). If you are interested in gaining a better understanding of the mathematical tools and the physical concepts that underpin research efforts of this nature, I encourage you to browse through the on-line, graduate-level textbook entitled, "The Stucture, Stability, and Dynamics of Self-Gravitating Systems," that I have been developing since the mid-1990s.

As I have pursued these various research projects over the years, I have had the opportunity to work closely with a number of exceptional students. (See the accompanying page for details.) In particular, I am proud to have had the opportunity to mentor the Ph.D. research projects of Harold Williams [1988], Dimitris Christodoulou [1989], John Woodward [1992], Kimberly New [1996], Saied Andalib [1998], Paul Fisher [1999], Howard Cohl [1999], John Cazes [1999], Eric Barnes [2001], Patrick Motl [2001], and Shangli Ou [2004].

In order to be able to understand in a quantitatively reliable way how stars, molecular clouds, and galaxies behave during key dynamical phases of their evolution, my students and I have invested a great deal of time developing nontrivial computational algorithms to simulate fully three-dimensional, self-gravitating, compressible fluid flows and to visualize the results of these flows, which often can be quite complex. Details regarding the mpi-based parallel algorithm that we presently use to simulate astrophysical fluid flows can be found in Motl, Tohline, and Frank (2000); on-line documentation describing the heterogeneous computing environment that we have developed to couple these simulations to visualization tools can be found in Cazes, Tohline, Cohl, and Motl (1999); and an assortment of Quicktime movies that we have produced to illustrate the results of a variety of our dynamical simulations can be found via the accompanying movie pages.

My research activities in these areas would not have been possible without the ongoing support of several key funding agencies; most notably, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Louisiana Educational Quality Support Fund (LEQSF). A record of this funding is given below.

Actively Funded Projects:

"Multi-Physics, Multi-Code Simulations of White Dwarf Mergers and the Origin of Hydrogen-Deficient Stars" [2009-2012]
Funded by: NASA (ATP)
Amount Awarded (3 Years: 12/09 - 11/12): $460,000
Grant Number: NNX10AC72G
Principal Investigator: G. Clayton (LSU Physics & Astronomy)
Other Investigators: J.E. Tohline, P. Motl (IU, Kokomo)

"Collaborative Research: Simulating Neutron Star-Black Hole Inspirals: From Binaries to Accretion and Jets" [2008-2011]
Funded by: U.S. National Science Foundation (PHY Program)
Amount Awarded (4 Years: 09/08 - 08/12): $300,000
Grant Number: 0803629
Principal Investigator: J.E. Tohline (originally Luis Lehner)
Other Investigators: T.Sterling (LSU), E.W.Hirschmann (BYU), S.L.Liebling (LIU)

"STCI: Development of Stork Data Scheduler for Mitigating the Data Bottleneck in Petascale Distributed Computing Systems" [2009-2012]
Funded by: U.S. National Science Foundation (OCI Program)
Amount Awarded (3 Years: 08/09 - 07/12): $495,514
Grant Number: OCI-0926701
Principal Investigator: J.E. Tohline (originally Tevfik Kosar)
Other Investigators:

"Louisiana's Cyber Connectivity via LONI" [2010-2012]
Funded by: U.S. National Science Foundation (EPS Program)
Amount Awarded (2 Years: 09/10 - 08/12): $1,176,470
Grant Number: EPS-1006891
Principal Investigator: Michael Khonsari (La BOR)
Other Investigators: Cheryl K. Stevens (Xavier Univ.), J.E. Tohline (LSU), G. D'Amour (Xavier Univ.), L. Guice (LaTech)

"BIPAS - Bifurcated Infrastructure Promoting the Advance of Science: Revitalizing LSU's Data Network Infrastructure" [2010-2012]
Funded by: U.S. National Science Foundation (OIA Program)
Amount Awarded (2.5 Years: 07/15/10 - 12/31/12): $1,998,000
Grant Number: OIA-0963375
Principal Investigator: R. Simmons (originally B.D. Voss)
Other Investigators: B. Nichols, S. Jha, S.D. Beck, J.E. Tohline

"IGERT on Multi-scale Computations of Fluid Dynamics" [2005-2012]
Funded requested from: U.S. National Science Foundation (DGE Program)
Amount Awarded (7 Years: 07/05 - 06/12): $2,919,909
Proposal Number: DGE-0504507
Principal Investigator: D. Nikitopoulos (originally S. Acharya) (LSU Mechanical Engineering)
Other Investigators: G. Allen, B. Bourdin, B. Karki, J. E. Tohline

Funding History:

Dates Agency Award No. Total Award Principal
Federal State
12/09 11/12 NASA (ATP) NNX10AC72G $460,000 --- Clayton (LSU, Astronomy)
09/08 08/11 NSF PHY-0803629 $300,000 --- Tohline (formerly Lehner)
08/09 07/12 NSF OCI-0926701 $495,514 --- Tohline (formerly Kosar)
08/10 07/12 NSF EPS-1006891 $1,176,470 --- Khonsari (La BOR)
07/10 12/12 NSF OIA-0963375 $1,998,000 --- Simmons (LSU, ITS)
07/05 06/11 NSF-IGERT DGE-0504507 $2,919,909 --- Nikitopoulos (LSU, Mechanical Eng.)
Active subTOTAL: $7,349,893 ---
08/07 07/10 NSF AST-0708551 $370,720 --- Tohline
02/07 01/10 NASA (ATP) NNX07AG84G $327,907 --- Frank (LSU, Astronomy)
09/08 08/09 NSF CCF-0833193 $70,000 --- Sterling (LSU, Comp. Sci.)
09/07 08/08 NSF-PIF PHY-0653369 $80,000 --- Lehner (LSU, Physics)
06/04 05/08 NSF AST-0407070 $332,074 --- Tohline
09/03 08/07 NSF-ITR PHY-0326311 $1,177,681 --- Lehner (LSU, Physics)
05/03 04/06 NASA (ATP) NAG5-13430 $310,000 --- Pullin (LSU, Physics)
06/00 05/04 NSF AST-9987344 $173,000 $15,000 Tohline
05/99 04/03 NASA (ATP) NAG5-8497 $176,520 --- Frank (LSU, Astronomy)
06/96 12/98 LEQSF (96-98)ENG-TR19 --- $115,000 Guzik (LSU, Physics)
06/96 05/99 NSF AST-9528424 $174,000 --- Tohline
06/95 12/98 LEQSF (95-98) 115-35-4112 --- $94,075 Sun (LSU, Comp. Sci.)
09/94 08/99 NSF GER-9355007 $537,500 --- Kalia (LSU, Physics)
08/93 01/97 DOE (AGTSR) 93-01-SR015 $478,250 --- Acharya (LSU, Mech. Eng.)
07/94 08/96 NASA (ATP) NAG5-2777 $58,300 --- Frank (LSU, Astronomy)
06/93 06/95 LEQSF (93-94)ENH-TR05 --- $850,000 Kalia (LSU, Physics)
03/91 07/95 NASA (ATP) NAGW-2447 $565,850 --- Frank (LSU, Astronomy)
03/91 08/94 NSF AST-9008166 $177,000 --- Tohline
06/90 06/93 LEQSF (90-92)ENH-12 --- $890,000 Tohline
07/87 12/90 NSF AST-8701503 $170,000 --- Tohline
06/85 11/87 NSF AST-8501842 $71,000 --- Tohline
11/83 10/84 NSF AST-8314476 $6,000 --- Chanmugam (LSU, Astronomy)
06/83 11/85 NSF AST-8217744 $59,200 --- Tohline
06/83 08/83 LSU Research Council --- --- $3,750 Tohline
Retired subTOTAL: $5,315,002 $1,967,825
TOTAL: $12,664,895 $1,967,825 = $14,632,720

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