PIC Simulation Methods for Cosmic Radiation and Plasma Instabilities

Research paper by Martin Pohl, Masahiro Hoshino, Jacek Niemiec

Indexed on: 04 Aug '21Published on: 05 Dec '19Published in: arXiv - Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena


Particle acceleration in collisionless plasma systems is a central question in astroplasma and astroparticle physics. The structure of the acceleration regions, electron-ion energy equilibration, preacceleration of particles at shocks to permit further energization by diffusive shock acceleration, require knowledge of the distribution function of particles besides the structure and dynamic of electromagnetic fields, and hence a kinetic description is desirable. Particle-in-cell simulations offer an appropriate, if computationally expensive method of essentially conducting numerical experiments that explore kinetic phenomena in collisionless plasma. We review recent results of PIC simulations of astrophysical plasma systems, particle acceleration, and the instabilities that shape them.