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The European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU)

Fully-Kinetic Eulerian Simulations of Electron scale Turbulence

Allocated Resources (in node hours)
MeluXina CPU
System Partition
7 July 2023 - 6 July 2024
Allocation Period

Astrophysical plasma turbulence has been studied extensively over the past decades. Due to the weak collisionality of this plasma, turbulence plays a fundamental role in the process of heating and accelerating the solar wind: driving energy fluctuations towards smaller and smaller scales. Space missions set out to investigate plasma turbulence have highlighted how electrons often exhibit non-equilibrium features in their velocity distribution functions (anisotropies, tails, asymmetries…)

These features, when sufficiently strong, can drive kinetic instabilities which ultimately regulate the conversion from turbulent plasma energy to particle heating and energization, holding the long sought key to understanding collisionless dissipation in plasmas.

Plasma turbulence is a strongly non-linear, inherently multi-scale process in a 6D space (3 physical space and 3 velocity space), and thus demands a large amount of computational resources.

This research project concerns the study of turbulence when approaching the electron kinetic scales (smaller than the proton gyro-radius) by means of Eulerian fully-kinetic simulations and aims at gaining insight on the nature of energy dissipation processes, a fundamental question still widely debated in the community.