Computational development of a particle-In-cell computer code for the simulation of plasma Instabilities around rotation powered pulsars
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This thesis reports on the design and development of DYMPHNA3D, a 3D particle-in-cell (PIC) plasma simulation code. It also focuses on the field of radio emission and the discovery of rotation powered neutron stars, summarising the the field from their discovery in 1968 to present day. DYMPHNA3D was then used as a test-bed for the one of the most plausible radio-emission theories, the Spark model. The magnetosphere of the pulsar, which is the anticipated region of emission of the pulsar, was simulated and the initial phase of the reaction, two-stream plasma instability, could be revealed. The code was originally developed in a serial modular fashion in order to promote ease of modification for the investigation of a diverse range of astrophysical kinetic plasma phenomena. Initially, parallelisation of the code was attained through the use of OpenMP which allowed it to run across multiple processors attached to the same node. This was suitable for the initial development and testing of the code; however, with the advent of much larger and more powerful computational architectures, the parallelisation was found to be inadequate for more in-depth study of plasma phenomena. To improve upon this, the code was adapted to be fully parallel through message passing interface (MPI). This allowed the study of a much more diverse range of phenomena in a higher resolution. Methods utilised in this process include particle decomposition, domain decomposition and domain cloning. After full parallelisation and test phase for verification of operation, the code was utilised to study the possible development plasma instability in the pulsar's magnetosphere. Parameters obtained from the Spark model were used to provide the initial simulation conditions.