IMEX and exact sequence discretization of the multi-fluid plasma model
Multi-fluid plasma models, where an electron fluid is modeled in addition to multiple ion and neutral species as well as the full set of Maxwell's equations, are useful for representing physics beyond the scope of classic MHD. This advantage presents challenges in appropriately dealing with electron dynamics and electromagnetic behavior characterized by the plasma and cyclotron frequencies and the speed of light. For physical systems, such as those near the MHD asymptotic regime, this requirement drastically increases runtimes for explicit time integration even though resolving fast dynamics may not be critical for accuracy. Implicit time integration methods, with efficient solvers, can help to step over fast time-scales that constrain stability, but do not strongly influence accuracy. As an extension, Implicit-explicit (IMEX) schemes provide an additional mechanism to choose which dynamics are evolved using an expensive implicit solve or resolved using a fast explicit solve. In this study, in addition to IMEX methods we also consider a physics compatible exact sequence spatial discretization. This combines nodal bases (H-Grad) for fluid dynamics with a set of vector bases (H-Curl and H-Div) for Maxwell's equations. This discretization allows for multi-fluid plasma modeling without violating Gauss' laws for the electric and magnetic fields. This initial study presents a discussion of the major elements of this formulation and focuses on demonstrating accuracy in the linear wave regime and in the MHD limit for both a visco-resistive and a dispersive ideal MHD problem.