This webinar addresses practical computational issues in discrete calculations of the path of charged or multipole particles in electric and magnetic fields.

We begin by showing the theory and an Excel macro implementation of some standard ODE time-based solvers as applied to the charged-particle case. We also discuss potential benefits of a nonstandard distance-based solver configuration.

Next some examples are provided to illustrate trade-offs between the number of calculations and the accuracy of the result according to various criteria. For example, depending on one’s needs, the simulation set-up might produce output that is either a dense set of (x, y, z) points that plot as a smooth curve, or a much sparser set of points that are individually more accurate than the dense set.

The webinar will end by examining what can be done with the data obtained. Calculations based on a linear interpolation between points are straightforward, but may force one to use an inefficient ODE set-up. This can take excessive computation resources, hence a longer time than necessary to produce accurate results. Some alternatives will be demonstrated using various degrees of physical insight to get the most information possible from the given ODE output data.

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