Latest publications related to iPIC3D

Multi-GPU Acceleration of the iPIC3D Implicit Particle-in-Cell Code

iPIC3D is a widely used massively parallel Particle-in-Cell code for the simulation of space plasmas. However, its current implementation does not support execution on multiple GPUs. In this paper, we describe the porting of iPIC3D particle mover to GPUs and the optimization steps to increase the performance and parallel scaling on multiple GPUs. We analyze the strong scaling of the mover on two GPU clusters and evaluate its performance and acceleration. The optimized GPU version which uses pinned memory and asynchronous data prefetching outperform their corresponding CPU versions by 5−10× on two different systems equipped with NVIDIA K80 and V100 GPUs.

Particle-in-cell simulations of plasma dynamics in cometary environment

We perform and analyze global Particle-in-Cell (PIC) simulations of the interaction between solar wind and an outgassing comet with the goal of studying the plasma kinetic dynamics of a cometary environment. To achieve this, we design and implement a new numerical method in the iPIC3D code to model outgassing from the comet: new plasma particles are ejected from the comet” surface” at each computational cycle. Our simulations show that a bow shock is formed as a result of the interaction between solar wind and outgassed particles. The analysis of distribution functions for the PIC simulations shows that at the bow shock part of the incoming solar wind, ions are reflected while electrons are heated. This work attempts to reveal kinetic effects in the atmosphere of an outgassing comet using a fully kinetic Particle-in-Cell model.

High Performance Solvers for Implicit Particle in Cell Simulation

A three-dimensional implicit particle-in-cell (iPIC3D) method implemented by S. Markidis et. al. in [“Multiscale simulations of plasma with iPIC3D”, Mathematics and Computers in Simulation, 80(2010), 1509-1519] allows time steps at magnetohy- drodynamics time scale. The code requires the solution of two linear systems: a Poisson system related to divergence cleaning, and a system related to a second order formulation of Maxwell equation. In iPIC3D, the former is the most costly.

Formation of a transient front structure near reconnection point in 3‐D PIC simulations

Massively parallel numerical simulations of magnetic reconnection are presented in this study. Electromagnetic full‐particle implicit code iPIC3D is used to study the dynamics and 3‐D evolution of reconnection outflows. Such features as Hall magnetic field, inflow and outflow, and diffusion region formation are very similar to 2‐D particle‐in‐cell (PIC) simulations. In addition, it is well known that instabilities develop in the current flow direction or oblique directions. These modes could provide for anomalous resistivity and diffusive drag and can serve as additional proxies for magnetic reconnection. In our work, the unstable evolution of reconnection transient front structures is studied. Reconnection configuration in the absence of guide field is considered, and it is initialized with a localized perturbation aligned in the cross‐tail direction. Our study suggests that the instabilities lead to the development of finger‐like density structures on ion‐electron hybrid scales. These structures are characterized by a rapid increase of the magnetic field, normal to the current sheet (Bz). A small decrease in the magnetic field component parallel to the reconnection X line and the component perpendicular to the current sheet is observed in the region ahead of the front. The instabilities form due to fact that the density gradient inside the front region is opposite to the direction of the acceleration Lorentz force. Such density structures may possibly further develop into larger‐scale earthward flux transfer events during magnetotail reconnection. In addition, oscillations mainly in the magnetic and electric fields and the electron density are observed shortly before the arrival of the main front structure which is consistent with recent THEMIS observations.

Multi-scale simulations of plasma with iPIC3D

The implicit Particle-in-Cell method for the computer simulation of plasma, and its implementation in a three-dimensional parallel code, called iPIC3D, are presented. The implicit integration in time of the Vlasov–Maxwell system, removes the numerical stability constraints and it enables kinetic plasma simulations at magnetohydrodynamics time scales. Simulations of magnetic reconnection in plasma are presented to show the effectiveness of the algorithm.