Machine learning accelerated particle-in-cell plasma simulations

24 Oct 2021  ·  R. Kube, R. M. Churchill, B. Sturdevant ·

Particle-In-Cell (PIC) methods are frequently used for kinetic, high-fidelity simulations of plasmas. Implicit formulations of PIC algorithms feature strong conservation properties, up to numerical round-off errors, and are not subject to time-step limitations which make them an attractive candidate to use in simulations fusion plasmas. Currently they remain prohibitively expensive for high-fidelity simulation of macroscopic plasmas. We investigate how amortized solvers can be incorporated with PIC methods for simulations of plasmas. Incorporated into the amortized solver, a neural network predicts a vector space that entails an approximate solution of the PIC system. The network uses only fluid moments and the electric field as input and its output is used to augment the vector space of an iterative linear solver. We find that this approach reduces the average number of required solver iterations by about 25% when simulating electron plasma oscillations. This novel approach may allow to accelerate implicit PIC simulations while retaining all conservation laws and may also be appropriate for multi-scale systems.

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