Space plasma/dust modeling and simulation

Space between planets, stars, and galaxies is commonly filled with plasma with its temperature and density, respectively, high and small enough to neglect Coulomb collisions. Recent in-situ and remote observations have also revealed the existence of space dust in our solar system. The behavior of these space plasma and dust is rather complex and affected by many factors such as the electromagnetic forces, multi-scale waves and instabilities, the charge state and orbital distribution of dust. Mathematical, analytical and numerical modeling and simulations are useful to effectively handle these factors and systematically understand such complex behavior of plasma and dust over a wide range of parameters.

Based on various methods of modeling and simulations, members of space plasma physics group are actively working on various research targets in space near the Earth, in the vicinity of other planets, comets and asteroids, near the solar surface, in the solar corona, and in the solar wind. In particular, recent advances in computer resources and numerical techniques enable us to handle large-scale plasma kinetic and magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations of various fundamental plasma phenomena such as magnetic reconnection and plasma turbulence covering a broad range of spatiotemporal scales that cannot be handled only from observations. Working with these simulations lead to a constant development of new mathematical methods and models that are of interest also for other research fields in space science. Comparison between these state-of-the-art modeling/simulations and observations also enable to obtain quantitative understanding of the multi-scale physics of these space plasma and dust phenomena.