Simulating Coulomb collisions in a magnetized plasma

Hinton, Fred L.
April 2008
Physics of Plasmas;Apr2008, Vol. 15 Issue 4, p042501
Academic Journal
The problem of simulating ion-ion Coulomb collisions in a plasma in a strong magnetic field is considered. No assumption is made about the ion distribution function except that it is independent of the gyrophase angle, consistent with the assumption that the ion gyrofrequency is much larger than the ion-ion collision frequency. A Langevin method is presented which time-advances the components of a particle’s velocity parallel and perpendicular to the magnetic field, without following the rapidly changing gyrophase. Although the standard Monte Carlo procedure, which uses random sampling, can be used, it is also possible to use a deterministic sampling procedure, where the samples are determined by the points which would be used in a numerical quadrature formula for moments of the Fokker–Planck Green’s function. This should reduce the sampling noise compared with the Monte Carlo collision method.


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