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By Nicholas Featherstone (primary-developer)1, Philip Edelmann (primary-developer)2, Rene Gassmoeller (primary-developer)3, Loren Matilsky (primary-developer)4, Ryan Orvedahl (primary-developer)5, Cian Wilson (primary-developer)6

1. Southwest Research Institute 2. Los Alamos National Lab 3. University of Florida 4. University of Colorado Boulder 5. University of California Davis 6. Carnegie DTM

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Rayleigh is a 3-D convection code designed for the study of dynamo behavior in spherical shell geometry. It evolves the incompressible and anelastic MHD equations in spherical geometry using a pseudo-spectral approach.

Rayleigh employs spherical harmonics in the horizontal direction and Chebyshev polynomials in the radial direction. The code has undergone extensive accuracy testing using the Christensen et al. (2001) Boussinesq benchmarks and the Jones et al. (2011) anelastic benchmarks. Rayleigh has been developed with NSF support through the Computational Infrastructure for Geodynamics.

Release Notes

Rayleigh-1.1.0.tar.gz [2022-05-05] 

Quarterly release 1.1.0 [fixed DOI relative to earlier zip file]

Rayleigh-1.0.1.tar.gz [2021-12-11] 

Bug-fix release: Version 1.0.1

Radially varying magnetic diffusivity is now implemented correctly using the Crank-Nicholson scheme.

Rayleigh-1.0.0.tar.gz [2021-11-12] 

We released Rayleigh v1.0.0 on November 12 with various new features and bugfixes. Among others, this release includes the following significant changes:

  • New: Online, up-to-date documentation is now available here. The source files are provided as part of the repository and are stored in the doc directory.
  • New: Users can now specify custom generic boundary conditions and/or initial conditions. The online documentation provides instructions for both options within the Physics Controls section.
  • New: Users are free to fully specify the set of constant and nonconstant coefficients that define the system of PDEs solved by Rayleigh. This capability is described in the “Custom Reference State” section of the documentation.
    *New: Checkpoint format has changed such that each checkpoint resides in its own directory. All files and information needed to restart a model, including a copy of main_input, are now stored within each numbered checkpoint directory.

Nicholas Featherstone, Philipp Edelmann, Rene Gassmoeller, Loren Matilsky, Ryan Orvedahl, Cian Wilson, and many other contributors.

Full documentation is available at

Sponsored by

NSF EAR-0949446 and EAR-1550901.