Lessons for adaptive mesh refinement in numerical relativity

Miren Radia*, Ulrich Sperhake, Amelia Drew, Katy Clough, Pau Figueras, Eugene A. Lim, Justin L. Ripley, Josu C. Aurrekoetxea, Tiago França, Thomas Helfer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


We demonstrate the flexibility and utility of the Berger-Rigoutsos adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) algorithm used in the open-source numerical relativity (NR) code GRChombo for generating gravitational waveforms from binary black-hole (BH) inspirals, and for studying other problems involving non-trivial matter configurations. We show that GRChombo can produce high quality binary BH waveforms through a code comparison with the established NR code Lean. We also discuss some of the technical challenges involved in making use of full AMR (as opposed to, e.g. moving box mesh refinement), including the numerical effects caused by using various refinement criteria when regridding. We suggest several ‘rules of thumb’ for when to use different tagging criteria for simulating a variety of physical phenomena. We demonstrate the use of these different criteria through example evolutions of a scalar field theory. Finally, we also review the current status and general capabilities of GRChombo.

Original languageEnglish
Article number135006
JournalClassical and Quantum Gravity
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2022


  • adaptive mesh refinement
  • compact objects
  • computational methods
  • gravitational waves
  • numerical relativity


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