Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Simulating magnetized laboratory plasmas with smoothed particle hydrodynamics
by Johnson, Jeffrey N., Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2009, 257; 3379640
Abstract (Summary)

The creation of plasmas in the laboratory continues to generate excitement in the physics community. Despite the best efforts of the intrepid plasma diagnostics community, the dynamics of these plasmas remains a difficult challenge to both the theorist and the experimentalist. This dissertation describes the simulation of strongly magnetized laboratory plasmas with Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH), a method born of astrophysics but gaining broad support in the engineering community. We describe the mathematical formulation that best characterizes a strongly magnetized plasma under our circumstances of interest, and we review the SPH method and its application to astrophysical plasmas based on research by Phillips [1], BØrve [2], and Price and Monaghan [3]. Some modifications and extensions to this method are necessary to simulate terrestrial plasmas, such as a treatment of magnetic diffusion based on work by Brookshaw [4] and by Atluri [5]; we describe these changes as we turn our attention toward laboratory experiments. Test problems that verify the method are provided throughout the discussion. Finally, we apply our method to the compression of a magnetized plasma performed by the Compact Toroid Injection eXperiment (CTIX) [6] and show that the experimental results support our computed predictions.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rodrigue, Garry H.
Commitee: Hwang, David Q., Owen, John M.
School: University of California, Davis
Department: Applied Science Engineering
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 70/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Plasma physics
Keywords: Magnetic fields, Magnetohydrodynamics, Mesh-free, Plasmas, Smoothed particle hydrodynamics
Publication Number: 3379640
ISBN: 978-1-109-48744-2
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