AstroGK: Astrophysical Gyrokinetics Code

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AstroGK is an open-source code for the gyrokinetic simulation of magnetized astrophysical plasmas.

AstroGK is a gyrokinetic code for nonlinear simulation of astrophysical plasmas. This Eulerian, flux-tube numerical scheme employs operator splitting to advance linear terms implicitly while nonlinear terms are explicitly advanced using the third-order Adams-Bashforth scheme. The five-dimensional gyrokinetic distribution functions for both ions and electrons are discretized on nonuniform meshes in velocity space for maximum efficiency. Collisions are handled by a number, momentum, and energy conserving Lorentz operator including pitch angle scattering and energy diffusion.

The primary aim of AstroGK is to study the magnetized turbulence in astrophysical plasmas, focusing on the weakly collisional, small scales of the turbulent cascade at which the turbulence is dissipated by kinetic mechanisms. These scales are crucial for understanding the role of turbulence in particle heating and thus the pathway by which the energy of large-scale motions in astrophysical systems is thermalized, critically influencing the interpretation of a wide range of astronomical observations and heliospheric measurements.