High-Fidelity Kinetic Modeling of Plasmas in Z-Pinch and Pulsed-Power Configurations

Genia Vogman | 18-ERD-048


Plasma dynamics can be strongly influenced by fine-scale kinetic physics. However, fine-scale kinetic physics is not captured by standard fluid treatments, is challenging to simulate, and is poorly understood.

We aimed to investigate the fundamental fine-scale properties of collisionless plasmas in Z-pinch and pulsed-power configurations by deploying novel, noise-free high-accuracy computational algorithms. Significant advances were achieved through the development of robust numerical capabilities to exploit axisymmetry in kinetic simulations and new methodologies to construct kinetic equilibria along with the theoretical and computational study of kinetic sheared-flow-driven transport in pulsed-power systems. These new capabilities shed light on the anisotropies that can develop in Z-pinches and the transport processes that can lead to parasitic currents in pulsed-power inertial confinement fusion experiments. The high-fidelity kinetic modeling capabilities we developed extend our understanding and our ability to predict plasma microphysics, which plays a critical role in burning plasma experiments.

Impact on Mission

Our work to address outstanding scientific questions in plasma physics and advance plasma physics modeling leveraged and enhanced Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's core competencies in high-energy-density science and high-performance computing. Our results pave the way for improved driver technologies for inertial confinement fusion capabilities that support the Laboratory's stockpile stewardship program.

Publications, Presentations, Etc.

Vogman, G. 2018. "Kinetic Physics of Magnetized Plasmas and Its Impact on Pulsed Power HED Experiments." Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, January 2019. LLNL-PRES-766345.

Vogman, G. 2018. "Exploring the Kinetic Physics of ExB Plasmas Using High-Order Vlasov-Poisson Simulations." Edwards Air Force Research Laboratory Propulsion Directorate, Boron, CA, January 2019. LLNL-PRES-766348.

Vogman, G. 2018. "Investigation of Two-Fluid and Kinetic Effects in the ExB Magnetically Insulated Transmission Line Environment." Sandia National Laboratory, Albuquerque, NM, June 2018. LLNL-PRES-753287.

Vogman, G. 2019. "Fourth-Order Vlasov-Poisson Simulations of Kinetic Instabilities and Transport in Low-Beta ExB Environments." Laboratory for Laser Energetics, Rochester, NY, October 2019. LLNL-PRES-791969.

Vogman, G., et al. 2018. "Microphysics of Sheared Flow Plasmas in High-Voltage Power Transmission Lines." Postdoctoral Poster Symposium at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, June 2018. LLNL-POST-752261.

––– . 2018. "Conservative Fourth-Order Finite-Volume Discretization of the Vlasov-Maxwell System in Cartesian and Cylindrical Axisymmetric Geometries." International Conference on Spectral and High Order Methods, London, United Kingdom, July 2018. LLNL-PRES-754323.

––– . 2018. "Two-Fluid and Kinetic Study of Sheared Flow Instabilities in Non-Uniform Collisionless Plasmas in ExB Configurations." 60th Annual AmeriBcan Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics Conference, Portland, OR, November 2018. LLNL-POST-760306.

––– . 2018. "Conservative Fourth-Order Finite-Volume Vlasov-Poisson Solver for Axisymmetric Plasmas in Cylindrical (r,vr,vtheta) Phase Space Coordinates." Journal of Computational Physics 373, pg 877–899, doi.org/10.1016/j.jcp.2018.07.029. LLNL-JRNL-743356.

––– . 2019. "Customizable Two-Species Kinetic Equilibria for Nonuniform Low-Beta Plasmas." Physics of Plasmas 26, doi.org / 10.1063/1.5089465. LLNL-JRNL-765801.

––– . 2019. "Microphysics of Sheared Flow Plasmas in Mega-Amp Pulsed Power Systems." Postdoctoral Poster Symposium at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, May 2019. LLNL-POST-773073.

––– . 2019. "Investigating Transport Properties of Collisionless Magnetized Plasmas in Pulsed Power Systems via High-Order Kinetic Simulations." IEEE Pulsed Power and Plasma Science Conference, Orlando, FL, June 2019. LLNL-PRES-778037.

––– . 2019. "Conservative Fourth-Order Vlasov-Poisson Simulations of Kinetic Instabilities in ExB Environments." International Conference on Numerical Simulation of Plasmas, Santa Fe, NM, September 2019. LLNL-PRES-788158.

––– . 2019. "Fourth-Order Vlasov-Poisson Simulations of Kinetic Instabilities and Transport in Low-Beta ExB Environments." 61st Annual American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics Conference, Fort Lauderdale, FL, October 2019. LLNL-PRES-791969.