Ilja Honkonen: High-performance computational modeling of space plasmas

Almost all observable matter in the universe is in the plasma state, in which the degree of ionization is large enough for collective electromagnetic behavior to be important. Plasma also exists over a huge range of parameters compared to gases, liquids and solids which makes modeling it especially difficult. The density of plasma can span 30 orders of magnitude, magnetic field 20 orders of magnitude and temperature some 7 orders of magnitude. Even the temporal and spatial scales of plasma phenomena can vary by 12 orders of magnitude or more just within the Heliosphere. Fortunately the performance of computers has been growing exponentially approximately since the first ones were constructed, which has allowed in recent years and decades to realistically model many heliospheric and astrophysical phenomena. The development of several optimized algorithms for specific parameter ranges of plasma has also helped the modeling effort immensely. I will present an overview of the field of computational modeling of plasma with emphasis on high-performance computing and space weather.

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