Commun. Comput. Phys., 11 (2012), pp. 1236-1260.


Vlasov-Fokker-Planck Simulations for High-Power Laser-Plasma Interactions

Su-Ming Weng 1, Zheng-Ming Sheng 2*, Hui Xu 3, Jie Zhang 2

1 Beijing National Laboratory of Condensed Matter Physics, Institute of Physics, CAS, Beijing 100190, China; Theoretical Quantum Electronics (TQE), Technische Universitat Darmstadt, D-64289 Darmstadt, Germany.
2 Beijing National Laboratory of Condensed Matter Physics, Institute of Physics, CAS, Beijing 100190, China; Key Laboratory for Laser Plasmas (MoE) and Department of Physics, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200240, China.
3 Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Laser Polarization and Information Technology, Department of Physics, Qufu Normal University, Qufu 273165, China.

Received 6 July 2010; Accepted (in revised version) 4 August 2011
Available online 29 November 2011
doi:10.4208/cicp.060710.040811s

Abstract

A review is presented on our recent Vlasov-Fokker-Planck (VFP) simulation code development and applications for high-power laser-plasma interactions. Numerical schemes are described for solving the kinetic VFP equation with both electron-electron and electron-ion collisions in one-spatial and two-velocity (1D2V) coordinates. They are based on the positive and flux conservation method and the finite volume method, and these two methods can insure the particle number conservation. Our simulation code can deal with problems in high-power laser/beam-plasma interactions, where highly non-Maxwellian electron distribution functions usually develop and the widely-used perturbation theories with the weak anisotropy assumption of the electron distribution function are no longer in point. We present some new results on three typical problems: firstly the plasma current generation in strong direct current electric fields beyond Spitzer-Harm's transport theory, secondly the inverse bremsstrahlung absorption at high laser intensity beyond Langdon's theory, and thirdly the heat transport with steep temperature and/or density gradients in laser-produced plasma. Finally, numerical parameters, performance, the particle number conservation, and the energy conservation in these simulations are provided.

AMS subject classifications: 82D10, 82C31, 78M12, 80A20

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Key words: Vlasov-Fokker-Planck equation, electric conductivity, inverse bremsstrahlung, nonlocal heat transport, positive and flux conservation method, finite volume method.

*Corresponding author.
Email: Su-Ming.Weng@physik.tu-darmstadt.de (S.-M. Weng), zmsheng@sjtu.edu.cn (Z.-M. Sheng)
 

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