The question how solar storms impact a planet has both fundamental scientific importance and great social impacts for protecting our infrastructure from the most powerful solar storms.
At present, models rely on a fluid description of the electrons due to algorithmic and computational challenges.
Our goal is to develop the first model of the Earth space environment based on a particle description of both ions and electrons.
We plan to use the particle in cell (PIC) model where both ions and electrons retain their nature as particles. This PIC model will allow us to investigate the critical role of energetic electrons participating in the energy and matter transfer from the solar wind to the planet inner space.
Electrons play a critical role in making sharp currents and interfaces that produce more intense energy exchanges, controlling the rate of entry of energy and matter into the planetary environments.
What makes this goal now possible is the Energy Conserving semi-implicit method, developed by the PI.
Thanks to this HPC allocation, we will have the first PIC model of the Earth planetary space environment where the correct particle nature of the electrons is considered with all its implication for energy and matter transport.