The cataclysmic variable group at The Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) is happy to present FITDisk, our cataclysmic variable (CV) accretion disk simulator. FITDisk is a 3-D smoothed particle hydrodynamics code which simulates accretion disk formation and evolution in CVs. It provides an easy to use graphical user interface as well as 3-D interactive graphics and runs under the WindowsXP operating system. The current version of the code has the following capabilities: computes the evolution of a CV accretion disk, visualizes results in real time, records and plays back simulations, and generates and plots pseudo light curves and associated power spectra.
FITDisk was developed by putting a user-friendly
graphical user interface (GUI) front-end onto our research hydrodynamics
code. Our goal with this project has been to make the hydrodynamics simulations
of CVs possible for interested amateur astronomers, students, and professionals.
Whether in an instructional setting or at home on a personal computer,
FITDisk can be a fun, easy way to learn about these exotic systems
and to build a better physical intuition for accretion disk dynamics.
Amateurs and professionals alike often observe CVs, yet no simple means
exist by which one can visualize and experiment with these phenomena.
FITDisk was designed to fill that gap, providing an opportunity
to gain a greater understanding of how these systems behave under a wide
range of conditions.