Computational Challenges in Kinetic Modeling of Laser-Plasma Interaction and Thermonuclear Burning Plasma

Brian Albright
Los Alamos National Laboratory

The particle-in-cell (PIC) method enables detailed modeling of kinetic processes in plasma, as are commonly encountered in hot dense plasma environments. However, the high energy density environment poses difficult challenges, as the physics often spans a vast range of characteristic sizes and time scales and often involves physics, such as high frequency radiative coupling, not generally encountered in low density environments. Complicating matters is the evolution of supercomputers on the path to Exascale, a move toward multicore platforms with deep memory hierarchies that influences algorithm design. This talk will discuss some of the numerical challenges in this venue, as well as outstanding problems in hot, dense plasma modeling. Specific topics in laser-plasma interaction and thermonuclear burn with PIC and related algorithms will be discussed. Collaborators: Lin Yin, Chengkun Huang, Kim Molvig, Nelson Hoffman, Ben Bergen, Thomas Kwan. Work performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by the Los Alamos National Security, LLC, Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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