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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Laser-plasma interactions with a Fourier-Bessel particle-in-cell method

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A new spectral particle-in-cell (PIC) method for plasma modeling is presented and discussed. In the proposed scheme, the Fourier-Bessel transform is used to translate the Maxwell equations to the quasi-cylindrical spectral domain. In this domain, the equations are solved analytically in time, and the spatial derivatives are approximated with high accuracy. In contrast to the finite-difference time domain (FDTD) methods, that are used commonly in PIC, the developed method does not produce numerical dispersion and does not involve grid staggering for the electric and magnetic fields. These features are especially valuable in modeling the wakefield acceleration of particles in plasmas. The proposed algorithm is implemented in the code PLARES-PIC, and the test simulations of laser plasma interactions are compared to the ones done with the quasi-cylindrical FDTD PIC code CALDER-CIRC.

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