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Journal Articles J.Plasma Phys. Year : 2020

A relativistic particle pusher for ultra-strong electromagnetic fields


Abridged. Kinetic plasma simulations are nowadays commonly used to study a wealth of non-linear behaviours and properties in laboratory and space plasmas. In particular, in high-energy physics and astrophysics, the plasma usually evolves in ultra-strong electromagnetic fields produced by intense laser beams for the former or by rotating compact objects such as neutron stars and black holes for the latter. In these ultra-strong electromagnetic fields, the gyro-period is several orders of magnitude smaller than the timescale on which we desire to investigate the plasma evolution. Some approximations are required like for instance artificially decreasing the electromagnetic field strength which is certainly not satisfactory. The main flaw of this downscaling is that it cannot reproduce particle acceleration to ultra-relativistic speeds with Lorentz factor above $\gamma \approx 10^3-10^4$. In this paper, we design a new algorithm able to catch particle motion and acceleration to Lorentz factor up to $10^{15}$ or even higher by using Lorentz boosts to special frames where the electric and magnetic field are parallel. Assuming that these fields are locally uniform in space and constant in time, we solve analytically the equation of motion in a tiny region smaller than the length scale of the spatial and temporal gradient of the field.

Dates and versions

hal-02423681 , version 1 (24-12-2019)



J. Pétri. A relativistic particle pusher for ultra-strong electromagnetic fields. J.Plasma Phys., 2020, 86, pp.825860402. ⟨10.1017/S0022377820000719⟩. ⟨hal-02423681⟩
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