In daily communication, we tend to abbreviate a lot of terms. It is important to us to make it easy to interact with the WarpX community and thus, this list shall help to clarify often used terms.


  • 2FA: Two-factor-authentication

  • ALCF: Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, a supercomputing center located near Chicago, IL (USA)

  • AMR: adaptive mesh-refinement

  • BC: boundary condition (of a simulation)

  • BTD: backtransformed diagnosics, a method to collect data for analysis from a boosted frame simulation

  • CFL: the Courant-Friedrichs-Lewy condition, a numerical parameter for the numerical convergence of PDE solvers

  • CI: continuous integration, automated tests that we perform before a proposed code-change is accepted; see PR

  • CPU: central processing unit, we usual mean a socket or generally the host-side of a computer (compared to the accelerator, e.g. GPU)

  • DOE: The United States Department of Energy, the largest sponsor of national laboratory research in the United States of America

  • ECT: Enlarged Cell Technique, an electromagnetic solver with accurate resolution of perfectly conducting embedded boundaries

  • EB: embedded boundary, boundary conditions inside the simulation box, e.g. following material surfaces

  • EM: electromagnetic, e.g. EM PIC

  • ES: electrostatic, e.g. ES PIC

  • FDTD: Finite-difference time-domain or Yee’s method, a class of grid-based finite-difference field solvers

  • GPU: originally graphics processing unit, now used for fast general purpose computing (GPGPU); also called (hardware) accelerator

  • LPA: laser-plasma acceleration, historically used for laser-electron acceleration

  • LPI: laser-plasma interaction

  • LWFA: laser-wakefield acceleration (of electrons/leptons)

  • MR: mesh-refinement

  • MVA: magnetic-vortex acceleration (of protons/ions)

  • NERSC: National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, a supercomputing center located in Berkeley, CA (USA)

  • NSF: the National Science Foundation, a large public agency in the United States of America, supporting research and education

  • OLCF: Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility, a supercomputing center located in Oak Ridge, TN (USA)

  • OTP: One-Time-Password; see 2FA

  • PDE: partial differential equation, an equation which imposes relations between the various partial derivatives of a multivariable function

  • PIC: particle-in-cell, the method implemented in WarpX

  • PR: github pull request, a proposed change to the WarpX code base

  • PSATD: pseudo-spectral analytical time-domain method, a spectral field solver with better numerical properties than FDTD solvers

  • PWFA: plasma-wakefield acceleration

  • QED: quantum electrodynamics

  • RPA: radiation-pressure acceleration (of protons/ions), e.g. hole-boring (HB) or light-sail (LS) acceleration

  • RZ: for the coordinate system r-z in cylindrical geometry; we use “RZ” when we refer to quasi-cylindrical geometry, decomposed in azimuthal modes (see details here)

  • TNSA: target-normal sheet acceleration (of protons/ions)