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  1. Using the maximum entropy distribution to describe electrons in reconnecting current sheets

    Particle distributions in weakly collisional environments such as the magnetosphere have been observed to show deviations from the Maxwellian distribution. These can often be reproduced in kinetic simulations, but fluid models, which are used in global simulations of the magnetosphere, do not necessarily capture any of this. We apply the maximum entropy fluid closure of Levermore, which leads to well posed moment equations, to reconstruct particle distributions from a kinetic simulation in a reconnection region. Our results show that without information other than the moments, the model can reproduce the general structure of the distributions but not all of themore » finer details. In conclusion, the advantages of the closure over the traditional Grad closure are also discussed.« less
  2. Low Mach-number collisionless electrostatic shocks and associated ion acceleration

    The existence and properties of low Mach-number (M >~ 1) electrostatic collisionless shocks are investigated with a semi-analytical solution for the shock structure. We show that the properties of the shock obtained in the semi-analytical model can be well reproduced in fully kinetic Eulerian Vlasov-Poisson simulations, where the shock is generated by the decay of an initial density discontinuity. By using this semi-analytical model, we also study the effect of electron-to-ion temperature ratio and presence of impurities on both the maximum shock potential and Mach number. We find that even a small amount of impurities can influence the shock propertiesmore » significantly, including the reflected light ion fraction, which can change several orders of magnitude. Electrostatic shocks in heavy ion plasmas reflect most of the hydrogen impurity ions.« less
  3. Simulations of anti-parallel reconnection using a nonlocal heat flux closure

    The integration of kinetic effects in fluid models is important for global simulations of the Earth's magnetosphere. In particular, it has been shown that ion kinetics play a crucial role in the dynamics of large reconnecting systems, and that higher-order fluid moment models can account for some of these effects. Here, we use a ten-moment model for electrons and ions, which includes the off diagonal elements of the pressure tensor that are important for magnetic reconnection. Kinetic effects are recovered by using a nonlocal heat flux closure, which approximates linear Landau damping in the fluid framework. Moreover, the closure ismore » tested using the island coalescence problem, which is sensitive to ion dynamics. We also demonstrate that the nonlocal closure is able to self-consistently reproduce the structure of the ion diffusion region, pressure tensor, and ion velocity without the need for fine-tuning of relaxation coefficients present in earlier models.« less
  4. The island coalescence problem: Scaling of reconnection in extended fluid models including higher-order moments

    As modeling of collisionless magnetic reconnection in most space plasmas with realistic parameters is beyond the capability of today's simulations, due to the separation between global and kinetic length scales, it is important to establish scaling relations in model problems so as to extrapolate to realistic scales. Recently, large scale particle-in-cell simulations of island coalescence have shown that the time averaged reconnection rate decreases with system size, while fluid systems at such large scales in the Hall regime have not been studied. Here, we perform the complementary resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD), Hall MHD, and two fluid simulations using a ten-moment modelmore » with the same geometry. In contrast to the standard Harris sheet reconnection problem, Hall MHD is insufficient to capture the physics of the reconnection region. Additionally, motivated by the results of a recent set of hybrid simulations which show the importance of ion kinetics in this geometry, we evaluate the efficacy of the ten-moment model in reproducing such results.« less
  5. Electron Physics in 3-D Two-Fluid 10-Moment Modeling of Ganymede's Magnetosphere

  6. Comparison of multi-fluid moment models with particle-in-cell simulations of collisionless magnetic reconnection

    We introduce an extensible multi-fluid moment model in the context of collisionless magnetic reconnection. This model evolves full Maxwell equations and simultaneously moments of the Vlasov-Maxwell equation for each species in the plasma. Effects like electron inertia and pressure gradient are self-consistently embedded in the resulting multi-fluid moment equations, without the need to explicitly solving a generalized Ohm's law. Two limits of the multi-fluid moment model are discussed, namely, the five-moment limit that evolves a scalar pressures for each species and the ten-moment limit that evolves the full anisotropic, non-gyrotropic pressure tensor for each species. We first demonstrate analytically andmore » numerically that the five-moment model reduces to the widely used Hall magnetohydrodynamics (Hall MHD) model under the assumptions of vanishing electron inertia, infinite speed of light, and quasi-neutrality. Then, we compare ten-moment and fully kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations of a large scale Harris sheet reconnection problem, where the ten-moment equations are closed with a local linear collisionless approximation for the heat flux. The ten-moment simulation gives reasonable agreement with the PIC results regarding the structures and magnitudes of the electron flows, the polarities and magnitudes of elements of the electron pressure tensor, and the decomposition of the generalized Ohm's law. Possible ways to improve the simple local closure towards a nonlocal fully three-dimensional closure are also discussed.« less
  7. The island coalescence problem: Scaling of reconnection in extended fluid models including higher-order moments

    As modeling of collisionless magnetic reconnection in most space plasmas with realistic parameters is beyond the capability of today's simulations, due to the separation between global and kinetic length scales, it is important to establish scaling relations in model problems so as to extrapolate to realistic scales. Furthermore, large scale particle-in-cell simulations of island coalescence have shown that the time averaged reconnection rate decreases with system size, while fluid systems at such large scales in the Hall regime have not been studied. Here, we perform the complementary resistive magnetohydrodynamic (MHD), Hall MHD, and two fluid simulations using a ten-moment modelmore » with the same geometry. In contrast to the standard Harris sheet reconnection problem, Hall MHD is insufficient to capture the physics of the reconnection region. Additionally, motivated by the results of a recent set of hybrid simulations which show the importance of ion kinetics in this geometry, we evaluate the efficacy of the ten-moment model in reproducing such results.« less
  8. Role of Ion Kinetic Physics in the Interaction of Magnetic Flux Ropes

    To explain many natural magnetized plasma phenomena, it is crucial to understand how rates of collisionless magnetic reconnection scale in large magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) scale systems. Simulations of isolated current sheets conclude such rates are independent of system size and can be reproduced by the Hall-MHD model, but neglect sheet formation and coupling to MHD scales. Here in this study, it is shown for the problem of flux-rope merging, which includes this formation and coupling, that the Hall-MHD model fails to reproduce the kinetic results. The minimum sufficient model must retain ion kinetic effects, which set the ion diffusion region geometrymore » and give time-averaged rates that reduce significantly with system size, leading to different global evolution in large systems.« less
  9. Time-domain simulation of nonlinear radiofrequency phenomena

    Nonlinear effects associated with the physics of radiofrequency wave propagation through a plasma are investigated numerically in the time domain, using both fluid and particle-in-cell (PIC) methods. We find favorable comparisons between parametric decay instability scenarios observed on the Alcator C-MOD experiment [J. C. Rost, M. Porkolab, and R. L. Boivin, Phys. Plasmas 9, 1262 (2002)] and PIC models. The capability of fluid models to capture important nonlinear effects characteristic of wave-plasma interaction (frequency doubling, cyclotron resonant absorption) is also demonstrated.
  10. Fusion Energy Sciences Exascale Requirements Review. An Office of Science review sponsored jointly by Advanced Scientific Computing Research and Fusion Energy Sciences, January 27-29, 2016, Gaithersburg, Maryland

    The additional computing power offered by the planned exascale facilities could be transformational across the spectrum of plasma and fusion research — provided that the new architectures can be efficiently applied to our problem space. The collaboration that will be required to succeed should be viewed as an opportunity to identify and exploit cross-disciplinary synergies. To assess the opportunities and requirements as part of the development of an overall strategy for computing in the exascale era, the Exascale Requirements Review meeting of the Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) community was convened January 27–29, 2016, with participation from a broad range ofmore » fusion and plasma scientists, specialists in applied mathematics and computer science, and representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its major computing facilities. This report is a summary of that meeting and the preparatory activities for it and includes a wealth of detail to support the findings. Technical opportunities, requirements, and challenges are detailed in this report (and in the recent report on the Workshop on Integrated Simulation). Science applications are described, along with mathematical and computational enabling technologies. Also see http://exascaleage.org/fes/ for more information.« less
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"Hakim, Ammar"

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