Full f gyrokinetic method for particle simulation of tokamak transport

Jukka A. Heikkinen (Corresponding Author), S. J. Janhunen, T. P. Kiviniemi, F. Ogando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


A gyrokinetic particle-in-cell approach with direct implicit construction of the coefficient matrix of the Poisson equation from ion polarization and electron parallel nonlinearity is described and applied in global electrostatic toroidal plasma transport simulations. The method is applicable for calculation of the evolution of particle distribution function f including as special cases strong plasma pressure profile evolution by transport and formation of neoclassical flows. This is made feasible by full f formulation and by recording the charge density changes due to the ion polarization drift and electron acceleration along the local magnetic field while particles are advanced. The code has been validated against the linear predictions of the unstable ion temperature gradient mode growth rates and frequencies. Convergence and saturation in both turbulent and neoclassical limit of the ion heat conductivity is obtained with numerical noise well suppressed by a sufficiently large number of simulation particles. A first global full f validation of the neoclassical radial electric field in the presence of turbulence for a heated collisional tokamak plasma is obtained. At high Mach number (Mp∼1) of the poloidal flow, the radial electric field is significantly enhanced over the standard neoclassical prediction. The neoclassical radial electric field together with the related GAM oscillations is found to regulate the turbulent heat and particle diffusion levels particularly strongly in a large aspect ratio tokamak at low plasma current.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5582-5609
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2008
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • particle simulation
  • plasma
  • turbulence
  • Tokamak
  • fusion energy


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