ALPS: The arbitrary linear plasma solver

D. Verscharen, K. G. Klein, B. D.G. Chandran, M. L. Stevens, C. S. Salem, S. D. Bale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The Arbitrary Linear Plasma Solver (ALPS) is a parallelised numerical code that solves the dispersion relation in a hot (even relativistic) magnetised plasma with an arbitrary number of particle species with arbitrary gyrotropic equilibrium distribution functions for any direction of wave propagation with respect to the background field. ALPS reads the background momentum distributions as tables of values on a (p⊥; p∥) grid, where p⊥ and p∥ are the momentum coordinates in the directions perpendicular and parallel to the background magnetic field, respectively. We present the mathematical and numerical approach used by ALPS and introduce our algorithms for the handling of poles and the analytic continuation for the Landau contour integral. We then show test calculations of dispersion relations for a selection of stable and unstable configurations in Maxwellian, bi-Maxwellian, κ-distributed and Jüttner-distributed plasmas. These tests demonstrate that ALPS derives reliable plasma dispersion relations. ALPS will make it possible to determine the properties of waves and instabilities in the non-equilibrium plasmas that are frequently found in space, laboratory experiments and numerical simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number905840403
JournalJournal of Plasma Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • Plasma instabilities
  • Plasma waves
  • Space plasma physics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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