Browsing University of Alaska Fairbanks by Subject "Theoretical physics"
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Improved Modeling Of Turbulent Transport: From Noise In Transport Models To The Parareal Algorithm Applied To Full Turbulence CodesTurbulence and turbulent transport are ubiquitous in nature and are of fundamental importance in everything from the spread of pollution to confinement in fusion plasmas. In order to study this, turbulence models need to be as realistic as possible and one must also be able to evolve the turbulence and the profiles of the quantities of interest on transport (long) time scales. Improving turbulence simulations by the introduction of new techniques forms the basis of this research. One part of this work involved improving the performance of a 1D transport model by the addition of noise. On a more fundamental level, studying long time dynamics for turbulence simulations is very difficult even with the fastest computers available now or in the near future. To help overcome this difficulty, a new way of simulating turbulence has been presented, namely parallelizing in time. Time parallelization of a fully developed turbulent system is a new application. Parallelizing the space domain to computationally solve partial differential equations has been extensively used and is one of the most common forms of parallelization. In contrast, the Parareal Algorithm parallelizes the time domain and has been found to significantly reduce the computational wall time in many simpler systems. Despite its success in other less complex problems, it has not yet been successfully applied to a turbulent system (to the best of our knowledge). If efficiently applied, this algorithm will allow study of the turbulent transport dynamics on transport time scales - something that has heretofore been very difficult. In this work, the results of applying the Parareal Algorithm to simulations of drift wave turbulence in slab geometry in which the relative dominance of the polarization and E x B nonlinearities are tuned artificially, are presented. These turbulent systems are in many ways similar to neutral fluid turbulence models, so success of the Parareal scheme in them expands the prospect of a broader range of application to many other turbulent problems. This thesis also presents the results of a modification to the algorithm. A model to study and predict the parameters governing the convergence of the scheme is also explored.
Magnetic Reconnection As A Chondrule Heating MechanismThe origin of chondrules (sub-millimeter inclusions found in stony meteorites) remains today an open question despite over century of examination. The age of these proto-solar relics shows a well defined cutoff of around 4.5 billion years ago. This places them as the oldest solids in the solar system. Chemical examination indicates that they experienced heating events on the order of 5000 K/hr for periods of around 30 minutes, followed by extending periods of cooling. Additional examination indicates the presence of large magnetic fields during their formation. Most attempts to explain chondrule formation in the proto-solar nebula neglect the existence of a plasma environment, with even less mention of dust being a charge carrier (dusty plasma). Simulations of magnetic reconnection in a dusty plasma are forwarded as a mechanism for chondrule formation in the proto-solar nebula. Here large dust-neutral relative velocities are found in the reconnection region. These flows are associated with the dynamics of reconnection. The high Knudsen number of the dust particles allows for a direct calculation of frictional heating due to collisions with neutrals (allowing for the neglect of boundary layer formation around the particle). Test particle simulations produce heating equivalent to that recorded in the chondrule mineral record. It is shown that magnetic reconnection in a dusty plasma is of fundamental importance to the formation of the most primitive solids in the solar system.