Photon-plasma: A modern high-order particle-in-cell code

Physics of Plasmas, 20, Art.062904

We present the PHOTON-PLASMA code, a modern high order charge conserving particle-in-cell code for simulating relativistic plasmas. The code is using a high order implicit field solver and a novel high order charge conserving interpolation scheme for particle-to-cell interpolation and charge deposition. It includes powerful diagnostics tools with on-the-fly particle tracking, synthetic spectra integration, 2D volume slicing, and a new method to correctly account for radiative cooling in the simulations. A robust technique for imposing (time-dependent) particle and field fluxes on the boundaries is also presented. Using a hybrid OpenMP and MPI approach, the code scales efficiently from 8 to more than 250.000 cores with almost linear weak scaling on a range of architectures. The code is tested with the classical benchmarks particle heating, cold beam instability, and two-stream instability. We also present particle-in-cell simulations of the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability, and new results on radiative collisionless shocks.