Despite the wide use of PIC codes throughout plasma physics for over 50 years, there still does not appear to be a consensus on the mathematical model that PIC codes represent. PICKSC researchers have recently found that a conventional spectral PIC code can be shown to converge to a spectral gridless code with finite-size particles, indicating that the appropriate underlying model of PIC codes is the Klimontovich equation with finite-size particles as opposed to the Vlasov equation or a statistical model such as the Vlasov-Boltzmann equation. Read more

[B. J. Winjum, J. J. Tu, S. S. Su, V. K. Decyk, and W. B. Mori, “Verification and Convergence Properties of a Particle-In-Cell Code”, to be published.]