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Title: On the numerical dispersion of electromagnetic particle-in-cell code: Finite grid instability

The Particle-In-Cell (PIC) method is widely used in relativistic particle beam and laser plasma modeling. However, the PIC method exhibits numerical instabilities that can render unphysical simulation results or even destroy the simulation. For electromagnetic relativistic beam and plasma modeling, the most relevant numerical instabilities are the finite grid instability and the numerical Cherenkov instability. We review the numerical dispersion relation of the Electromagnetic PIC model. We rigorously derive the faithful 3-D numerical dispersion relation of the PIC model, for a simple, direct current deposition scheme, which does not conserve electric charge exactly. We then specialize to the Yee FDTD scheme. In particular, we clarify the presence of alias modes in an eigenmode analysis of the PIC model, which combines both discrete and continuous variables. The manner in which the PIC model updates and samples the fields and distribution function, together with the temporal and spatial phase factors from solving Maxwell's equations on the Yee grid with the leapfrog scheme, is explicitly accounted for. Numerical solutions to the electrostatic-like modes in the 1-D dispersion relation for a cold drifting plasma are obtained for parameters of interest. In the succeeding analysis, we investigate how the finite grid instability arises from themore » interaction of the numerical modes admitted in the system and their aliases. The most significant interaction is due critically to the correct representation of the operators in the dispersion relation. We obtain a simple analytic expression for the peak growth rate due to this interaction, which is then verified by simulation. We demonstrate that our analysis is readily extendable to charge conserving models.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States)
  2. (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22465656
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Computational Physics; Journal Volume: 297; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2015 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; DEPOSITION; DIRECT CURRENT; DISPERSION RELATIONS; DISTRIBUTION FUNCTIONS; ELECTRIC CHARGES; LASER-PRODUCED PLASMA; MAXWELL EQUATIONS; NUMERICAL SOLUTION; PARTICLE BEAMS; PLASMA DRIFT; PLASMA INSTABILITY; PLASMA SIMULATION; RELATIVISTIC PLASMA; RELATIVISTIC RANGE