AstroGK Development

AstroGK is the latest step in a series of efforts aimed at developing more realistic simulations of kinetic, magnetized plasmas. The problem of anomalous tokamak transport involves issues associated with the complicated geometry, particle trapping, multiple space and time scales, and tiny electron-to-ion mass ratio inherent in the physical system. Exploiting the timescale separation between the slow turbulent dynamics and the fast cyclotron motion, the gyrokinetic formalism lays the mathematical foundation upon which the turbulent dynamics of magnetized, kinetic plasmas can be modeled. A comprehensive linear treatment of the problem---including kinetic electron dynamics, electromagnetic effects, and particle trapping---was achieved with the development of GKS, an Eulerian initial-value code by Kotschenreuther (1995). Substantial extensions of GKS to include nonlinear effects and toroidal geometries lead to the Eulerian flux-tube code GS2. To apply this numerical approach more efficiently to the class of turbulent systems that support a large inertial range---relevant to a wide range of space and astrophysical phenomena---the algorithm of GS2 was streamlined to remove the overhead of toriodal geometry and trapped particles to produce AstroGK.

Use the navigation bar to the right to look up information on the AstroGK development team, a description of the algorithms used in AstroGK, results of code validation tests, and performance results.