High-Order Particle-in-Cell Algorithms for Laser Plasma Simulations

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-06ER84484
Agency Tracking Number: 80789S06-I
Amount: $99,813.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: 38
Solicitation Number: DE-FG01-05ER05-28
Small Business Information
5621 Arapahoe Avenue, Suite A, Boulder, CO, 80303
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Bruhwiler
 (303) 448-0732
Business Contact
 Laurence Nelson
Title: Mr.
Phone: (720) 974-1856
Email: lnelson@txcorp.com
Research Institution
Laser-plasma interactions recently have been used to accelerate ~1 nC electron bunches to ~100 MeV over ~3 mm with ~5% energy spread. This result demonstrates the potential for reducing the size and cost of future high-energy accelerators by orders of magnitude. Massively parallel, particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations have correctly captured the qualitative features of these laser wakefield accelerator (LWFA) experiments and have played a key role in their success. Now, there is a strong need for the PIC software to move beyond the qualitative features to quantitative prediction and system optimization. In this project, several high-order algorithms will be implemented in a state-of-the-art parallel PIC code, with emphasis on reducing particle-driven noise and improving the dispersive properties of electromagnetic waves. The relative benefits of these algorithms will be tested via comparison with theory and with data from on-going LWFA experiments. In Phase I, high-risk technical issues will be resolved through the initial implementation and testing, in one and two dimensions, of high-order particle shapes. The numerically sensitive problem of resonant electron injection into the plasma wake, through the use of colliding laser pulses, will be used as a test case. Commercial Applications And Other Benefits as described by the Applicant: The algorithmic enhancements for the PIC simulation code should have application to scientific collaborators in the high-energy physics community.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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