Sparse grid techniques for particle-in-cell schemes

L. F. Ricketson, A. J. Cerfon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We propose the use of sparse grids to accelerate particle-in-cell (PIC) schemes. By using the so-called 'combination technique' from the sparse grids literature, we are able to dramatically increase the size of the spatial cells in multi-dimensional PIC schemes while paying only a slight penalty in grid-based error. The resulting increase in cell size allows us to reduce the statistical noise in the simulation without increasing total particle number. We present initial proof-of-principle results from test cases in two and three dimensions that demonstrate the new scheme's efficiency, both in terms of computation time and memory usage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024002
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2017


  • combination technique
  • particle-in-cell
  • sparse grids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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