Studying Astrophysical Particle Acceleration in HED Plasmas

PI Name: 
Frederico Fiuza
Institution: 
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Allocation Program: 
ALCC
Allocation Hours at ALCF: 
50 Million
Year: 
2017
Research Domain: 
Physics

Beyond its relevance to the understanding of the extreme universe, the study of particle acceleration has a significant impact on generating new laboratory accelerators for a variety of applications, from diagnostics for fusion plasmas to medical imaging. A transformative advance in our understanding of the process of particle acceleration in plasmas requires a combination of fully kinetic simulations and controlled laboratory experiments where numerical findings can be tested.

This project will perform unprecedented massively parallel particle-in-cell simulations to explore the physics of particle acceleration and magnetic field dynamics in High-Energy-Density (HED) plasmas, associated with collisionless shocks and magnetic reconnection, for conditions of high-power laser experiments already planned at the National Ignition Facility (NIF). The results of this project will support NIF experiments that will not succeed without 3D fully kinetic simulations on Mira and will dramatically change the ability of scientists to understand particle injection and acceleration in laboratory and astrophysical plasmas.