The integration of the vlasov equation in configuration space

C. Z. Cheng, Georg Knorr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

648 Citations (Scopus)


A convenient, fast, and accurate method of solving the one-dimensional Vlasov equation numerically in configuration space is described. It treats the convective terms in the x and v directions separately and produces a scheme of second order in Δt. The resulting free-streaming and accelerating equations are computed with Fourier interpolation and spline interpolation methods respectively. The numerical method is tested witth linear and nonlinear problems. The method is very accurate and efficient. A new method of smoothing the distribution function is given. It reduces the computational effort by artificially increasing the entropy of the system. As a result, the distribution function is smooth enough to be well represented on a given mesh. The methods can be generalized in a straightforward way to deal with more complicated cases such as problems with nonperiodic spatial boundary conditions, two- and three-dimensional problems with and without external magnetic and/or electric fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-351
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1976 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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