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Finite spatialgrid effects in energyconserving particleincell algorithms
Abstract
Finitegrid (or aliasing) instabilities are pervasive in particleincell (PIC) plasma simulation algorithms, and force the modeler to resolve the smallest (Debye) length scale in the problem regardless of dynamical relevance. These instabilities originate in the aliasing of interpolation errors between mesh quantities and particles (which live in the space–time continuum). Recently, strictly energyconserving PIC (ECPIC) algorithms have been developed that promise enhanced robustness against aliasing instabilities. In this study, we confirm by analysis that ECPIC is stable against aliasing instabilities for stationary plasmas. For drifting plasmas, we demonstrate by analysis and numerical experiments that, while ECPIC algorithms are not free from these instabilities in principle, they feature a benign stability threshold for finitetemperature plasmas that make them usable in practice for a large class of problems (featuring ambipolarity and realistic ionelectron mass ratios) without the need to consider the size of the Debye length. We also demonstrate that this threshold is absent for the popular momentumconserving PIC algorithms, which are therefore unstable for both drifting and stationary plasmas beyond a threshold in cell size compared to Debye length. Finitegrid (or aliasing) instabilities are pervasive in particleincell (PIC) plasma simulation algorithms, and force the modeler to resolve the smallest (Debye) lengthmore »
 Authors:

 Coronado Consulting, Lamy, NM (United States)
 Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
 Publication Date:
 Research Org.:
 Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
 Sponsoring Org.:
 USDOE Office of Science (SC), Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR); USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
 OSTI Identifier:
 1659174
 Alternate Identifier(s):
 OSTI ID: 1810894
 Report Number(s):
 LAUR1831023
Journal ID: ISSN 00104655
 Grant/Contract Number:
 89233218CNA000001; AC5206NA25396
 Resource Type:
 Accepted Manuscript
 Journal Name:
 Computer Physics Communications
 Additional Journal Information:
 Journal Volume: 258; Journal ID: ISSN 00104655
 Publisher:
 Elsevier
 Country of Publication:
 United States
 Language:
 English
 Subject:
 97 MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; Mathematics; Magnetic Fusion Energy; PIC; energyconserving; spatialgrid effects; stability regime; filtering; shape functions
Citation Formats
Barnes, D. C., and Chacón, L. Finite spatialgrid effects in energyconserving particleincell algorithms. United States: N. p., 2020.
Web. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpc.2020.107560.
Barnes, D. C., & Chacón, L. Finite spatialgrid effects in energyconserving particleincell algorithms. United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpc.2020.107560
Barnes, D. C., and Chacón, L. Tue .
"Finite spatialgrid effects in energyconserving particleincell algorithms". United States. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpc.2020.107560.
@article{osti_1659174,
title = {Finite spatialgrid effects in energyconserving particleincell algorithms},
author = {Barnes, D. C. and Chacón, L.},
abstractNote = {Finitegrid (or aliasing) instabilities are pervasive in particleincell (PIC) plasma simulation algorithms, and force the modeler to resolve the smallest (Debye) length scale in the problem regardless of dynamical relevance. These instabilities originate in the aliasing of interpolation errors between mesh quantities and particles (which live in the space–time continuum). Recently, strictly energyconserving PIC (ECPIC) algorithms have been developed that promise enhanced robustness against aliasing instabilities. In this study, we confirm by analysis that ECPIC is stable against aliasing instabilities for stationary plasmas. For drifting plasmas, we demonstrate by analysis and numerical experiments that, while ECPIC algorithms are not free from these instabilities in principle, they feature a benign stability threshold for finitetemperature plasmas that make them usable in practice for a large class of problems (featuring ambipolarity and realistic ionelectron mass ratios) without the need to consider the size of the Debye length. We also demonstrate that this threshold is absent for the popular momentumconserving PIC algorithms, which are therefore unstable for both drifting and stationary plasmas beyond a threshold in cell size compared to Debye length. Finitegrid (or aliasing) instabilities are pervasive in particleincell (PIC) plasma simulation algorithms, and force the modeler to resolve the smallest (Debye) length scale in the problem regardless of dynamical relevance. These instabilities originate in the aliasing of interpolation errors between mesh quantities and particles (which live in the space–time continuum). Recently, strictly energyconserving PIC (ECPIC) algorithms have been developed that promise enhanced robustness against aliasing instabilities. In this study, we confirm by analysis that ECPIC is stable against aliasing instabilities for stationary plasmas. For drifting plasmas, we demonstrate by analysis and numerical experiments that, while ECPIC algorithms are not free from these instabilities in principle, they feature a benign stability threshold for finitetemperature plasmas that make them usable in practice for a large class of problems (featuring ambipolarity and realistic ionelectron mass ratios) without the need to consider the size of the Debye length. Finally, we also demonstrate that this threshold is absent for the popular momentumconserving PIC algorithms, which are therefore unstable for both drifting and stationary plasmas beyond a threshold in cell size compared to Debye length.},
doi = {10.1016/j.cpc.2020.107560},
journal = {Computer Physics Communications},
number = ,
volume = 258,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {9}
}