A significant physics discovery over the past several years is the importance of including the coupling to dispersive whistler and kinetic Alfven waves in boundary layers where magnetic reconnection takes place. The complication is that the correct treatment of these waves requires the resolution of small scales, which are normally not treated in global simulations. On the other hand, the resolution of small scales is only required in rather small regions of space. The computational challenge is therefore to develop "adaptive physics" techniques in which adaptive mesh refinement is combined with the inclusion of a kinetic physics model as small scales develop in large-scale MHD modeling.
Several codes will be utilized in the development of these "adaptive physics" techniques. The set of sister codes, which are based on similar algorithms, include a two-fluid (Hall MHD with electron inertia) model, a hybrid model (particle-in-cell ions).
Below is a two-fluid reconnection simulation showing magnetic field lines and plasma current.
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