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Kinetic Simulation of Collisional Magnetized Plasmas with Semi-Implicit Time Integration

by   Debojyoti Ghosh, et al.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Plasmas with varying collisionalities occur in many applications, such as tokamak edge regions, where the flows are characterized by significant variations in density and temperature. While a kinetic model is necessary for weakly-collisional high-temperature plasmas, high collisionality in colder regions render the equations numerically stiff due to disparate time scales. In this paper, we propose an implicit-explicit algorithm for such cases, where the collisional term is integrated implicitly in time, while the advective term is integrated explicitly in time, thus allowing time step sizes that are comparable to the advective time scales. This partitioning results in a more efficient algorithm than those using explicit time integrators, where the time step sizes are constrained by the stiff collisional time scales. We implement semi-implicit additive Runge-Kutta methods in COGENT, a finite-volume gyrokinetic code for mapped, multiblock grids and test the accuracy, convergence, and computational cost of these semi-implicit methods for test cases with highly-collisional plasmas.


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