Plasmas, Computation and Mathematics Workshop (PCM)

Venue: University of Cumbria

Location: Ambleside, Cumbria, United Kingdom

Event Date/Time: Jul 18, 2009 End Date/Time: Jul 21, 2009
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Recent effort in plasma physics has developed significantly in the last few years. This is as a result of the need to gain a deeper understanding of the behaviour of ionised matter in electro-magnetics fields on scales set by phenomena that range from the astrophysical to the microscopic.

Such behaviour continues to pose challenging problems in mathematics, physics and engineering. Engineering effort continues to concentrate on the construction of high-temperature confined configurations for sustained fusion processes. By contrast fundamental conceptual problems remain to be solved in order to resolve the self-force problem for accelerating point charges and to accommodate collision processes in dense plasmas. There also remain important issues in computation where modern mathematical tools can be used to advantage in practical simulations of multi-scale phenomena such as those found in many plasma processes.

It has recently been suggested that a breakthrough in the generation of ultra-high field gradients can be achieved by laser-plasma interactions. If such gradients can be sustained they can lead to dramatic progress in the construction of devices of immediate technological application in medical diagnosis and high-brightness light sources. However there remain important challenges in understanding the stability of highly magnetised anisotropic and inhomogeneous plasma configurations in the presence of non-linear laser field interactions. Simulations of such multi-scale phenomena using current computational hardware is rarely able to fully address such scenarios.

It is proposed to bring together a group of applied mathematicians and physicists whose skills can offer a mutually beneficial forum for the exchange of ideas on these problems. Mathematicians working in non-linear dynamics, differential geometry and topology, and numerical analysis possess tools that can open up new avenues of exploration in plasma physics and numerical simulation. Physicists can in turn help focus the mathematical work into areas of most relevance to them. In this way it is envisaged that new insights into complex plasma processes can be achieved.

These include:

* New algorithmic advances involving hybrid fluid-kinetic models based on the Maxwell-Vlasov description of plasmas.
* New perturbation techniques for ultra-relativistic systems.
* New geometric methods for analysing highly anisotropic plasmas.
* A better understanding of the behaviour of diffuse plasmas in space and the effects of their inhomogeneities.
* A closer symbiosis between mathematicians and physicists in areas of modern multi-scale plasma dynamics.


Rydal Road
United Kingdom

Additional Information

£220 on-line registration. Includes accommodation and food over the conference period.