Most of the visible matter in the Universe is a plasma, that is a dilute gas of electrons, ions,
and neutral particles. Numerical methods are the only viable way of studying the dynamics of astrophysical
plasmas. Using numerical simulations, much progress has been made in recent years in understanding a variety
of important problems, including the structure and evolution of accretion flows around compact objects such
as neutron stars and black holes, and the decay rate and fluctuation statistics of compressible MHD turbulence.
Almost without exception, such advances have used multidimensional MHD codes. However, for many astrophysical
problems, the MHD approximation may not be valid. Examples include the dynamics of very dilute accretion flows,
the dynamics of turbulent plasmas near the energy dissipation scale, or magnetic reconnection. In order to
address fundamental problems in these areas, it will be necessary to move beyond the MHD approximation, and
consider particle kinetics. However, a full time-dependent and multidimensional numerical solution to the
Boltzmann equation is intractable in most circumstances, thus novel methods will be required.
The goal of this workshop is to bring together astrophysicists, plasma physicists, and applied mathematicians
to discuss future developments in numerical methods for astrophysical plasmas. Topics to be covered include:
reviews of the astrophysical problems that motivate future developments, including what we have learned
from current techniques, and why we need new methods,
reviews of modern methods for MHD, including adaptive mesh techniques for multiscale problems, and methods
for non-ideal MHD, and
reviews of modern methods for collisionless plasma dynamics that result from various approximations to
the full collisionless Boltzmann equation. A key ingredient of the workshop is to engage plasma physicists and
applied mathematicians with experience in plasma kinetics in the development of methods suitable for astrophysical plasmas.
The format of the program calls for a limited number of formal presentations, and ample of time for informal
interaction (and hopefully even some coding!).