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Spurious Ionization From Noise in Kinetic Particle Simulations

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2 Author(s)
Albright, B.J. ; Appl. Phys. Div., Los Alamos Nat. Lab., NM ; Bowers, K.J.

The inclusion of field ionization models in kinetic plasma simulations is desired in several applications. The ionization rates in these models are sensitive to noise in the electric field; however, and in some cases, spurious "numerical" ionization may dominate the physical ionization. In this paper, analytic ionization rates are obtained as a function of the noise spectrum of the electric field. These expressions have applicability to several settings, including colored noise, as are obtained from digital filters. As such, they provide a means for quantitatively assessing the efficacy of candidate noise mitigation schemes, such as increasing the computational particle number, temporally averaging the electric field, or applying more sophisticated digital filtering techniques

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 4 )