Overview

Vlasov Simulation
Late-time diagnostics from a 2-D reduced Vlasov simulation with strongly magnetized electron and unmagnetized ions showing the parallel electric field (top) and mean parallel electron drift (bottom). The double layer is the curved structure in the middle of the simulation domain. The electron holes are associated with the biploar (red/blue) pairs in the parallel electric field (top frame).

The Space Plasma Group at the University of Colorado studies the nonlinear evolution of space and laboratory plasmas driven by electric currents and beams of energetic particles. Recent investigations have employed numerical simulations and analytical modeling to understand the origins and properties of coherent nonlinear structures (most notably double layers and electron phase-space holes, as shown in the accompanying image from one of our 2-D simulations). Such structures have been observed in Earth's auroral zone, as well as in other space-plasma and laboratory environments. Our research is carried out in close collaboration with scientists, including members of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado, who provide up-to-date high-quality in situ satellite observations to guide our numerical and theoretical work.