Numerical thermalization in particle-in-cell simulations with Monte-Carlo collisions

P. Y. Lai, T. Y. Lin, Y. R. Lin-Liu, S. H. Chen

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Abstract

Numerical thermalization in collisional one-dimensional (1D) electrostatic (ES) particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations was investigated. Two collision models, the pitch-angle scattering of electrons by the stationary ion background and large-angle collisions between the electrons and the neutral background, were included in the PIC simulation using Monte-Carlo methods. The numerical results show that the thermalization times in both models were considerably reduced by the additional Monte-Carlo collisions as demonstrated by comparisons with Turner'S previous simulation results based on a head-on collision model [M. M. Turner, Phys. Plasmas 13, 033506 (2006)]. However, the breakdown of Dawson's scaling law in the collisional 1D ES PIC simulation is more complicated than that was observed by Turner, and the revised scaling law of the numerical thermalization time with numerical parameters are derived on the basis of the simulation results obtained in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122111
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Volume21
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2014

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