An entropy based thermalization scheme for hybrid simulations of Coulomb collisions

L.F. Ricketson, M.S. Rosin, R.E. Caflisch, A.M. Dimits
2014 Journal of Computational Physics  
We formulate and test a hybrid fluid-Monte Carlo scheme for the treatment of elastic collisions in gases and plasmas. While our primary focus and demonstrations of applicability are for moderately collisional plasmas, as described by the Landau-Fokker-Planck equation, the method is expected to be applicable also to collision processes described by the Boltzmann equation. This scheme is similar to the previously discussed velocity-based scheme [R. Caflisch, et. al, Multiscale Modeling &
more » ... n 7, 865, (2008)] and the scattering-angle-based scheme [A.M. Dimits, et. al, Bull. APS 55, no. 15 (2010, Abstract: XP9.00006)], but with a firmer theoretical basis and without the inherent limitation to the Landau-Fokker-Planck case. It gives a significant performance improvement (e.g., error for a given computational effort) over the velocity-based scheme. These features are achieved by assigning passive scalars to each simulated particle and tracking their evolution through collisions. The method permits a detailed error analysis that is confirmed by numerical results. The tests performed are for the evolution from anisotropic Maxwellian and a bump-on-tail distribution.
doi:10.1016/j.jcp.2014.04.059 fatcat:qfi6qh6zl5cwzimb2dc7ahopni