Subcycling of particle orbits in variational, geometric electromagnetic particle-in-cell methods

Physics of Plasmas, Volume 27, Issue 9, September 2020. This paper investigates the subcycling of particle orbits in variational, geometric particle-in-cell methods, addressing the Vlasov–Maxwell system in magnetized plasmas. The purpose of subcycling is to allow different time steps for different particle species and, ideally, time steps longer than the electron gyroperiod for the global field solves while sampling the local cyclotron orbits accurately. The considered algorithms retain the electromagnetic gauge invariance of the discrete action, guaranteeing a local charge conservation law, while the variational approach provides a bounded long-time energy behavior.