Extended particle-in-cell schemes for physics in ultrastrong laser fields: Review and developments
Journal article, 2015
We review common extensions of particle-in-cell (PIC) schemes which account for strong field phenomena in laser-plasma interactions. After describing the physical processes of interest and their numerical implementation, we provide solutions for several associated methodological and algorithmic problems. We propose a modified event generator that precisely models the entire spectrum of incoherent particle emission without any low-energy cutoff, and which imposes close to the weakest possible demands on the numerical time step. Based on this, we also develop an adaptive event generator that subdivides the time step for locally resolving QED events, allowing for efficient simulation of cascades. Further, we present a unified technical interface for including the processes of interest in different PIC implementations. Two PIC codes which support this interface, PICADOR and ELMIS, are also briefly reviewed.