Space Science Reviews

, Volume 139, Issue 1, pp 143-189

First online:

Modeling and Simulating Flowing Plasmas and Related Phenomena

  • S. A. LedvinaAffiliated withSpace Sciences Lab, University of California Email author 
  • , Y.-J. MaAffiliated withIGPP, UCLA
  • , E. KallioAffiliated withFinnish Meteorological Inst., Space Research Unit

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Simulation has become a valuable tool that compliments more traditional methods used to understand solar system plasmas and their interactions with planets, moons and comets. The three popular simulation approaches to studying these interactions are presented. Each approach provides valuable insight to these interactions. To date no one approach is capable of simulating the whole interaction region from the collisionless to the collisional regimes. All three approaches are therefore needed. Each approach has several implicit physical assumptions as well as several numerical assumptions depending on the scheme used. The magnetohydrodynamic (MHD), test-particle/Monte-Carlo and hybrid models used in simulating flowing plasmas are described. Special consideration is given to the implicit assumptions underlying each model. Some of the more common numerical methods used to implement each model, the implications of these numerical methods and the resulting limitations of each simulation approach are also discussed.


Plasma Magnetohydrodynamics Test-particle Hybrid Simulations Numerical methods