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We present the first-of-its-kind coupling of a continuum full- f gyrokinetic turbulence model with a 6D continuum model for kinetic neutrals, carried out using the Gkeyll code. Our objective is to improve the first-principle understanding of the role of neutrals in plasma fueling, detachment, and their interaction with edge plasma profiles and turbulence statistics. Our model includes only atomic hydrogen and incorporates electron-impact ionization, charge exchange, and wall recycling. These features have been successfully verified with analytical predictions and benchmarked with the DEGAS2 Monte Carlo neutral code. We carry out simulations for a scrape-off layer (SOL) with simplified geometry and National Spherical Torus Experiment parameters. We compare these results to a baseline simulation without neutrals and find that neutral interactions reduce the normalized density fluctuation levels and associated skewness and kurtosis, while increasing auto-correlation times. A flatter density profile is also observed, similar to the SOL density shoulder formation in experimental scenarios with high fueling.Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
Monte Carlo methods are often employed to numerically integrate kinetic equations, such as the particle-in-cell method for the plasma kinetic equation, but these methods suffer from the introduction of counting noise to the solution. We report on a cautionary tale of counting noise modifying the nonlinear saturation of kinetic instabilities driven by unstable beams of plasma. We find a saturated magnetic field in under-resolved particle-in-cell simulations due to the sampling error in the current density. The noise-induced magnetic field is anomalous, as the magnetic field damps away in continuum kinetic and increased particle count particle-in-cell simulations. This modification of the saturated state has implications for a broad array of astrophysical phenomena beyond the simple plasma system considered here, and it stresses the care that must be taken when using particle methods for kinetic equations.