Monte Carlo simulation of excitation and ionization collisions with complexity reduction

Hai P. Le, Bokai Yan, Russel E. Caflisch, Jean Luc Cambier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Kinetic simulation of plasmas with detailed excitation and ionization collisions presents a significant computational challenge due to the multiscale feature of the collisional rates. In the present work, we propose a complexity reduction method based on atomic level grouping for modeling excitation and ionization collisions. High order of accuracy of the reduction method is realized by allowing an internal distribution within each group. We apply the reduction method to the standard Monte Carlo collision algorithm to model an atomic Hydrogen plasma. Numerical results suggest that the stiffness of the collisional kinetics can be significantly reduced with minimal loss in accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)480-496
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Boltzmann equation
  • Complexity reduction
  • Excitation–deexcitation
  • H theorem
  • Ionization–recombination
  • Monte Carlo method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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