Coulomb collision model for use in nonthermal plasma simulation
AbstractIn kinetic simulations of non-Maxwellian plasmas, the calculation of particle scattering due to Coulomb collisions has no simple approximation. In such simulations, the number of collision interactions a particle experiences in a single time step is typically too large for direct calculation. In this work, the cumulative effect of a series of binary collisions is calculated numerically in a stochastic manner, and heuristic trends are produced as functions of the local plasma parameters. The result is a collision model suitable for implementation into a kinetic plasma simulation. The presence of low-probability, high-angle scattering due to close collision encounters is defined and described, and this effect is demonstrated in a test problem simulation of weakly collisional counterstreaming ion beams.