Primary research activities are in the field of nonlinear plasma physics, with emphasis on theoretical modeling and nonlinear simulation of wave and particle phenomena in a variety of near-Earth space plasma and laboratory environments. Specific research projects in 2010 include the following: A. Vlasov simulation studies nonlinear kinetic structures such as double layers, electron and ion phase-space holes, and solitons: (1) Collaboration with former graduate student Daniel Main(Ph.D. 2006) on criteria for stable double layers in Earth's auroral upward current region (see publications). (2) Collaboration with current graduate student Jianbao Tao on modeling kinetic phenomena in the lunar wake (see presentations). (3) New 2D studies of weak electron hole generation initiatiated by a local temperature perturbation. (4)Simulations of Buneman instabilities with velocity shear in collaboration with postdoctoral researcher H. Che. B. Research relevant to magnetic reconnection in support of 10-year NASA grant (Prof. M. V. Goldman - PI): (1) Developed "fly-through" diagnostics of simulation data to differentiate resolving capabilities of current and future satellite missions. (2) Continued phase space diagnostic study of nonlinear structures observed in reconnection simulations. (3) Developed graphical diagnostics for visualization of data from 3D reconnection simulations.
"Scales of Guide Field Reconnection at the Hydrogen Mass Ratio," G. Lapenta, S. Markidis, A. Divin, M. Goldman, and D. Newman, Phys. Plasmas, V. 17, 082106 (2010).
"Conditions for Establishing Quasistable Double Layers in the Earth's Auroral Upward Current Region," D. S. Main, D. L. Newman, and R. E. Ergun., Phys. Plasmas, V. 17, 122901 (2010).