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I am an undergraduate in Physics, and I have an opportunity to work with a some of my seniors to learn Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD).

I would like to choose my first individual project in order to learn about how these techniques are used in Astrophysics.

  1. What are a few basic, illustrative examples of the use of CFD and/or MHD that I might look into and consider working on as my first project?
  2. What are illustrative examples of how these techniques are currently used in astrophysics research so I can have a better idea how I might use these skills in the future, and if possible a reference where I can read futher?
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    $\begingroup$ These sort of questions are usually best answered by people who know you well academically, and not random internet volunteers. Sure, learning those techniques would be good. But as we don't know you it is not possible to give individual advice. As an undergraduate, you have professors who are paid for (among other things) advising undergraduates what would be beneficial for them to learn. Since they know you academically, they can give tailored advice. Many professors have "office hours" (or Zoom hours now, perhaps) for this purpose. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Jun 5 at 12:08
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to astronomy SE! As @JamesK says, the best thing is to check out with your professors at an university nearby or some fancy place where you might want to move to. You could also try ask this question at academia.stackexchange.com (I voting for close here in order to allow for migration). $\endgroup$
    – B--rian
    Jun 5 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Stack Exchange! The wording "...can you suggest any problems that I can work on..." is a poor fit for SE because it asks for a list of opinions, and "list questions" and questions likely to receive "opinion-based answers" are both discouraged with the latter being an actual close reason. I see you've made an edit and that's good, but it doesn't go far enough. I'm going to make a further edit to show how you can ask something similar in a way that's a good fit for Astronomy SE. Please feel free to edit further. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jun 7 at 23:04
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh I will take this into account, your edit is of great help. Thanks a lot! $\endgroup$
    – Mirae
    Jun 8 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Mirae great, thanks! There's already 2 reopen votes, three more are needed unless a moderator steps in and reopens it more quickly. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jun 8 at 17:14
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Computational Fluid Dynamics and Magnetohydrodynamics are very important in understanding the interior of stars, star formation, the interstellar medium, accretion discs around stars,... So to answer your first question, I would say this is a great opportunity and it would be very beneficial to learn about it through a hands-on project with more experienced people.

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  • $\begingroup$ I've edited the OP's question to bring it back into the form of a proper SE question post and to help get it reopened. I don't think the edit adversely impacts your answer, but you might want to have a look as I've renumbered the parts of the question. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jun 7 at 23:16
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I am an undergraduate in Physics, and I have an opportunity to work with a some of my seniors to learn Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD).

Congrats!

I would like to choose my first individual project in order to learn about how these techniques are used in Astrophysics.

The answer to your question depends on what you mean here. I assume you mean that you want to do an exercise, when you say "individual project." You want a topic within these fields that are well understood - that is, you are not interested in currently open questions/problems.

Further, since you're an undergraduate, you likely have not studied classical electrodynamics at an advanced level (perhaps you have?), which adds a difficulty in even understanding CFD/MHD exercises.

A big part of CFD/MHD is coding. It's very simulation heavy, unless you're doing pure theory, but I do not suspect that you intend to advance theory (as discussed above).

So, you could try to

  1. find an exercise that you think is a) tractable/solvable and b) interesting to you.
  2. Try to solve the problem first yourself, and ask your fellows for help finding an appropriate problem... it's easy to find one that's too difficult for your purposes.
  3. Use a coding language, e.g., Wolfram Mathematica, Python, etc..., to solve some equations and to explore the solutions. Ask yourself what you expect the solution to be before, and then ask yourself if the solution(s) you find make physical sense, etc... You can use extreme/limiting cases to explore these questions more simply.

In terms of finding an "exercise," this article/book by Spruit might be too advanced, perhaps your senior fellows can help you find an appropriate exercise, but there are many (see chapter 3). Here's the most recent version of it. Since you're an undergrad, I recommend just doing choosing a problem in electrodynamics, e.g., from Griffith's textbook, since a lot of MHD/CFD problems are applications of Maxwell's laws, etc... See here for some standard methods in CFD.

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