• cosmology: theory;
  • galaxies: formation;
  • methods: numerical


Numerical simulations of galaxy formation provide a powerful technique for calculating the non-linear evolution of cosmic structure formation. In fact, they have played an instrumental role in establishing the current standard cosmological model known as ΛCDM. In this brief review, I highlight some of largest calculations carried out recently in the field, and I discuss the challenges involved in making further progress with simulations in the future. These entail the need to scale up the simulations to ever larger sizes and much better resolution, the need to develop more comprehensive numerical models of the physics of galaxy formation, and the need to improve the accuracy of the numerical techniques currently employed. The present epoch of petaflop supercomputers, and the exaflop machines that are foreseen towards the end of the decade, demand novel types of simulation codes that yet have tobe developed (© 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)