In the wake of the intense effort made for the experimental CILEX project, numerical simulation campaigns have been carried out in order to finalize the design of the facility and to identify optimal laser and plasma parameters. These simulations bring, of course, important insight into the fundamental physics at play. As a by-product, they also characterize the quality of our theoretical and numerical models. By comparing the results given by different codes, it is possible to point out algorithmic limitations both in terms of physical accuracy and computational performances. In this paper we illustrate some of these limitations in the context of electron laser wakefield acceleration (LWFA). The main limitation we identify in state-of-the-art Particle-In-Cell (PIC) codes is computational load imbalance. We propose an innovative algorithm to deal with this specific issue as well as milestones towards a modern, accurate high-performance PIC code for high energy physics.
Preprint link: http://lanl.arxiv.org/pdf/1511.03878v1