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Particle-in-cell simulations of magnetosphere electrodynamics

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1 Author(s)
P. L. Pritchett ; Dept. of Phys. & Astron., California Univ., Los Angeles, CA, USA

This paper reviews the basic principles and techniques involved in formulating particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation models which can be used to address medium- and large-scale problems in magnetosphere electrodynamics. The limitations imposed by the underlying kinetic physics of a plasma are emphasized, and representative algorithms are described for full particle and hybrid (particle ions, fluid electrons) models. Issues related to the choice of initial and boundary conditions and the implementation of PIC models on massively parallel computers are discussed. Explicit examples involving the diffusion region in collisionless reconnection, plasma sheet convection, and large scale structure in magnetic reconnection are presented to illustrate the current capabilities of PIC models

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 6 )