Sturdevant, Benjamin J., E-mail: benjamin.j.sturdevant@gmail.com
; Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309
; Parker, Scott E.
- Journal of Computational Physics

This paper introduces a technique for analyzing time integration methods used with the particle weight equations in δf method particle-in-cell (PIC) schemes. The analysis applies to the simulation of warm, uniform, periodic or infinite plasmas in the linear regime and considers the collective behavior similar to the analysis performed by Langdon for full-f PIC schemes [1,2]. We perform both a time integration analysis and spatial grid analysis for a kinetic ion, adiabatic electron model of ion acoustic waves. An implicit time integration scheme is studied in detail for δf simulations using our weight equation analysis and for full-f simulations using

more » the method of Langdon. It is found that the δf method exhibits a CFL-like stability condition for low temperature ions, which is independent of the parameter characterizing the implicitness of the scheme. The accuracy of the real frequency and damping rate due to the discrete time and spatial schemes is also derived using a perturbative method. The theoretical analysis of numerical error presented here may be useful for the verification of simulations and for providing intuition for the design of new implicit time integration schemes for the δf method, as well as understanding differences between δf and full-f approaches to plasma simulation.« less