Department of Physics and Astronomy: Publications and Other Research


Date of this Version



Plasma Science (ICOPS), 2013 Abstracts IEEE International Conference


Copyright 2013 IEEE


The evolution of a short, intense laser pulse propagating in an underdense plasma is of particular interest for laser-plasma accelerator physics. This case is well-modeled by the cold, Maxwell–fluid equations but, using conventional second-order explicit methods, a three-dimensional simulation for experimentally relevant configurations is prohibitively expensive. This motivated a search for numerical methods that might be used to solve the fluid equations more efficiently. Explicit methods tend to suffer from stability constraints which couple the maximum allowable time step to the spatial grid size. If the dynamics of the system evolves on a time scale much larger than the constrained time step, an explicit method may require many more update cycles than is physically necessary. In these circumstances implicit methods, which tend to be unconditionally stable, may be attractive. However, in many physical situations (e.g., Raman processes) it is necessary to fully-resolve the fast dynamics. In this case, implicit methods are unlikely to exhibit much improvement over explicit methods. Thus, we look for methods of higherorder in space that would allow the use of coarser spatial grids and thus larger time steps.