Pegasus: A new hybrid-kinetic particle-in-cell code for astrophysical plasma dynamics

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29 Scopus citations

Abstract

We describe Pegasus, a new hybrid-kinetic particle-in-cell code tailored for the study of astrophysical plasma dynamics. The code incorporates an energy-conserving particle integrator into a stable, second-order-accurate, three-stage predictor-predictor-corrector integration algorithm. The constrained transport method is used to enforce the divergence-free constraint on the magnetic field. A δf scheme is included to facilitate a reduced-noise study of systems in which only small departures from an initial distribution function are anticipated. The effects of rotation and shear are implemented through the shearing-sheet formalism with orbital advection. These algorithms are embedded within an architecture similar to that used in the popular astrophysical magnetohydrodynamics code Athena, one that is modular, well-documented, easy to use, and efficiently parallelized for use on thousands of processors. We present a series of tests in one, two, and three spatial dimensions that demonstrate the fidelity and versatility of the code.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-174
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Volume259
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 15 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics

Keywords

  • Hybrid
  • Numerical methods
  • Particle-in-cell
  • Plasma

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