Brief Project Description
Particle-in-cell models are a numerical approach to the complex motion of ions and electrons in electric and magnetic fields. The basic premise is to calculate motion based on the field present, recalculate the field based on new particle positions, and repeat. Such modelling has been successfully applied to current sheet evolution [Fujimoto, K., and Sydora, R.D. (2008). Electromagnetic particle-in-cell simulations on magnetic reconnection with adaptive mesh refinement, Comput. Phys. Comm., 178, 915-923] and magnetic reconnection [Tikhonchuk, V.T. (2002). Interaction of a beam of fast electrons with solids, Phys. Plasmas, 9, 1416-1421]. This project extends existing PIC code to the ionisation of gases under the applied EM field imposed by a laser. Due to the large number of particles involved in such calculations, it is necessary to treat multiple particles as one superparticle with the same charge to mass ratio as a single particle. This project will seek to develop methods for creation and splitting of these superparticles. Additionally, the particles involved can have very high energies and so the entire system must be treated as relativistic. The equations governing the motion will be modified accordingly.