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The ZEUS Code

What is it?
Who, where, when, and why?
Example applications.
Download a copy.
Documentation and Help.

What is it?

ZEUS is several different numerical codes for astrophysical gas dynamics in two- and three-dimensions. The basic numerical algorithms employed are simple but accurate and robust. A great deal of physics has been added to the codes, making them useful tools for investigation of a wide variety of problems. The codes and their tests are well documented in the refereed literature, and each version is freely available from this (and other) websites.

Who, where, when, and why?

ZEUS began as a hydrodynamics code written by Mike Norman for his thesis work with Jim Wilson in the late 1970s. David Clarke made substantial modifications and improvements in the early 1980s, and coined the name "ZEUS". In the late 1980s, Jim Stone rewrote the code to introduce a covariant differencing formalism, to add new algorithms for MHD and radiation hydrodynamics, and to port it to the UNIX operating system. This rewritten code was called ZEUS-2D. Subsequently, David Clarke re-wrote the code again to extend it to 3D. Thus, there are two quite different versions of the code (ZEUS-2D and ZEUS-3D) which incorporate fundamentally the same algorithms, but differ in many details. More recently, Mike Norman's group at UCSD have developed an MPI version called ZEUS-MP.

The original versions of ZEUS were written as part of the Ph.D. thesis research of Mike Norman's students to study the propagation of extragalactic jets (Clarke), and the dynamics of protostellar disks and outflows (Stone). It was Mike Norman's vision to distribute the code freely to the community; since then ZEUS has been used for hundreds of applications in astrophysics.

Example applications.

See the description of research projects on my homepage to see what sort of problems I have used ZEUS for. The code is widely used by the astrophysics community: as of January 2003, there were 480 papers that referenced the ZEUS method papers listed on the NASA ADS. As a result, it is fair to say that ZEUS is the best-tested MHD code in astrophysics.

Download a copy

The best place to get a copy of the ZEUS-2D code or its successors is from Laboratory for Computational Astrophysics. David Clarke also maintains a ZEUS-3D home page, from which you can download his version (the template for ZEUS-MP). Below are links which will allow you to download my own personal version of ZEUS-2D and an extension to 3D. There are also several versions of ZEUS-MP available, each with various bug fixes, such as John Vernaleo's version or Dan Fabrycky's version Please note that I cannot offer technical support for the code: contact the LCA if you have any questions or need help.

zeus2d_v2.0 The original zeus-2d code in F77. Contains algorithms for compressible hydrodynamics, MHD, and radiation hydrodynamics (using flux-limited diffusion) in Cartesian, cylndrical, or spherical polar coordinates. Since this is an old version, some parts require updating (for example, the sparse matrix solver for the radiation hydrodynamics algorithms). Requires the HDF4 library from to compile and run. BE WARNED: This version is less tested and less reliable than the LCA version.

zeus3d A three-dimensional version of the zeus-2d code in F77. Contains algorithms for compressible hydrodynamics and MHD in Cartesian coordinates with periodic boundary conditions in the Y and Z directions only. Includes routines for the shearing-sheet boundary conditions used for local studies of the MRI. This version has been optimized and parallelized for the SGI Origin system. Requires the HDF4 library from to compile and run.

You may use the code freely as is, modify it for your own applications, or use it as a template for your own code.

Documentation and Help

The best source of documentation are the three method papers published in the Astrophysical Journal Supplements

``ZEUS-2D: A Radiation Magnetohydrodynamics Code for Astrophysical Flows in Two Space Dimensions: I. The Hydrodynamic Algorithms and Tests"

``ZEUS-2D: A Radiation Magnetohydrodynamics Code for Astrophysical Flows in Two Space Dimensions: II. The Magnetohydrodynamic Algorithms and Tests"

``ZEUS-2D: A Radiation Magnetohydrodynamics Code for Astrophysical Flows in Two Space Dimensions: III. The Radiation Hydrodynamic Algorithms and Tests"

There is also a paper on the ZEUS-2D testsuite:

``A Test Suite for Magnetohydrodynamical Simulations"

Since the ZEUS-2D code became publically available, improvements and extensions have continued to both the algorithms and the physics included. Some of these improvements and extensions are documented in the following papers:

``MOCCT: A numerical Technique for Astrophysical MHD"

``The ZEUS Code for Astrophysical Magnetohydrodynamics: New Extensions and Applications"

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