Particle-in-cell method vs. PM/PPPM methods

In summary, the conversation discusses the particle-in-cell method, which was developed by Harlow and Evans in the 1950s. The speakers also mention Hockney and Eastwood's book on computer simulation using particles, which introduces the terms PP, PM, and PPPM to describe different models. There is confusion about the differences between these methods and the role of PIC within them. Ultimately, it is determined that PPPM is significantly different from PIC, while PIC can be classified as a PM method.
  • #1
I'm doing a paper on the particle-in-cell method, which was designed by Harlow and Evans in the mid 50s. But I'm reading Hockney and Eastwood's book Computer Simulation Using Particles in which they describe their models, and term them PP (particle-particle), PM (particle-mesh), and PPPM (particle-particle - particle-mesh). they also refer to the PIC in the book a couple of times, but in principle i don't see how their workings are different. could someone please explain why and how they're different?
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  • #2
I would classify PIC as a PM method. I'm not sure there are significant differences. PPPM however is quite different, as direct particle-particle interactions are also considered for nearby particles.
  • #3
Thanks for your reply! I see what you mean between PPPM and PIC beind different. Thanks for the help!

What is the difference between Particle-in-cell method and PM/PPPM methods?

The Particle-in-cell (PIC) method is a numerical simulation technique used to model the behavior of charged particles in a plasma. It works by dividing the simulation domain into a grid and representing each particle as a "superparticle" that interacts with the grid. On the other hand, PM/PPPM (Particle-Mesh/Poisson Particle-Poisson) methods use a combination of a mesh grid to represent the electric field and a collection of particles to represent the particles in the simulation. The main difference between the two methods is the way they handle particle-particle interactions.

Which method is more accurate, Particle-in-cell or PM/PPPM?

Both methods have their own advantages and disadvantages, and their accuracy depends on the specific simulation being performed. However, in general, the PIC method tends to be more accurate for simulations with a low number of particles, while PM/PPPM methods are better suited for simulations with a high number of particles.

What are the main advantages of using Particle-in-cell method?

The main advantage of the PIC method is its ability to accurately simulate the behavior of charged particles in a plasma, even when the number of particles is low. It also allows for more detailed analysis of individual particles and their interactions with the electric field.

When should I use PM/PPPM methods instead of Particle-in-cell?

PM/PPPM methods are more suitable for simulations with a high number of particles, as they are more efficient in terms of computational resources. Additionally, they can handle long-range particle-particle interactions more accurately, making them a better choice for simulations with a large spatial extent.

Can Particle-in-cell and PM/PPPM methods be combined?

Yes, it is possible to combine the two methods in a hybrid approach. This can be useful in simulations that require both accurate treatment of particle-particle interactions and efficient use of computational resources. However, the implementation of such a hybrid method can be complex and requires careful consideration of the specific simulation being performed.

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