Test Particle Calculation of Plasma Equilibria

Test Particle Calculation of Plasma Equilibria

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Jonathan Sullivan-Wood 1,a) and Daniel Holland 1,b)

1 Illinois State University, Department of Physics, Normal, IL 61790-4560, USA

a) Corresponding author: jmsull1 [at] ilstu.edu
b) dlhollar [at] ilstu.edu


We present a numerical technique for self-consistently calculating plasma equilibria with prescribed sources and sinks on the boundaries, i.e. a scattering system. The method is applied to the earth’s magnetotail. The method follows individual particles through a prescribed magnetic field, while calculating the density, current and pressure that the particle contributes on a uniformly spaced grid. The individual particles are weighted to model a given source distribution and the total equilibrium properties, including the r esulting magnetic field, are evaluated. The calculated and prescribed magnetic fields are then compared. If the fields differ significantly, the two fields are mixed and the p rocess repeated. Convergence to the self-consistent field typically takes between 100 and 150 iterations.