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Wednesday, July 11, 2012
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room (TA-3, Bldg 1690)


A Gentle Introduction to Plasma Kinetic Simulation

Bill Daughton

In high-temperature plasmas, binary collisions are infrequent and large deviations from thermodynamic equilibrium are often encountered. The fundamental theoretical framework for describing these plasmas is based on kinetic theory. This lecture will describe the ideas behind a kinetic description and the relationship back to approximate fluid models for the plasma evolution. For most nonlinear phenomena, the plasma kinetic equation must be solved numerically using computer simulations. The particle-in-cell (PIC) approach is the most commonly used algorithm. Due to its simplicity, highly efficient implementations of the PIC algorithm are possible on modern computers. The largest simulations now routinely use over 100,000 processors and are leading to important advances in our understanding of plasma physics. Here, we highlight a few examples from laser-plasma interactions, plasma turbulence and magnetic reconnection.

Host: Tom Intrator, P-24,, 665-2927