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ViDA: a Vlasov–DArwin solver for plasma physics at electron scales

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 October 2019

Oreste Pezzi*
Gran Sasso Science Institute, Viale F. Crispi 7, I-67100 LAquila, Italy INFN/Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso, Via G. Acitelli 22, I-67100 Assergi (AQ), Italy Dipartimento di Fisica, Università della Calabria, Via P. Bucci, I-87036 Arcavacata di Rende (CS), Italy
Giulia Cozzani
Dipartimento di Fisica ‘E. Fermi’, Università di Pisa, Largo B. Pontecorvo 3, I-56127 Pisa, Italy Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas, CNRS/École Polytechnique/Sorbonne Université, Université Paris Sud, Observatoire de Paris, 91128 Palaiseau, France
Francesco Califano
Dipartimento di Fisica ‘E. Fermi’, Università di Pisa, Largo B. Pontecorvo 3, I-56127 Pisa, Italy
Francesco Valentini
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università della Calabria, Via P. Bucci, I-87036 Arcavacata di Rende (CS), Italy
Massimiliano Guarrasi
CINECA Interuniversity Consortium, Via Magnanelli 6/3, 40033 Casalecchio di Reno, Italy
Enrico Camporeale
CIRES, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA Center for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI), 1090 GB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Gianfranco Brunetti
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università della Calabria, Via P. Bucci, I-87036 Arcavacata di Rende (CS), Italy
Alessandro Retinò
Laboratoire de Physique des Plasmas, CNRS/École Polytechnique/Sorbonne Université, Université Paris Sud, Observatoire de Paris, 91128 Palaiseau, France
Pierluigi Veltri
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università della Calabria, Via P. Bucci, I-87036 Arcavacata di Rende (CS), Italy
Email address for correspondence:


We present a Vlasov–DArwin numerical code (ViDA) specifically designed to address plasma physics problems, where small-scale high accuracy is requested even during the nonlinear regime to guarantee a clean description of the plasma dynamics at fine spatial scales. The algorithm provides a low-noise description of proton and electron kinetic dynamics, by splitting in time the multi-advection Vlasov equation in phase space. Maxwell equations for the electric and magnetic fields are reorganized according to the Darwin approximation to remove light waves. Several numerical tests show that ViDA successfully reproduces the propagation of linear and nonlinear waves and captures the physics of magnetic reconnection. We also discuss preliminary tests of the parallelization algorithm efficiency, performed at CINECA on the Marconi-KNL cluster. ViDA will allow the running of Eulerian simulations of a non-relativistic fully kinetic collisionless plasma and it is expected to provide relevant insights into important problems of plasma astrophysics such as, for instance, the development of the turbulent cascade at electron scales and the structure and dynamics of electron-scale magnetic reconnection, such as the electron diffusion region.

Research Article
© Cambridge University Press 2019 

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ViDA: a Vlasov–DArwin solver for plasma physics at electron scales
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