A. Chambliss, J. Franklin
We discuss an extension of the velocity Verlet method that accurately approximates the kinetic-energy-conserving charged particle motion that comes from magnetic forcing. For a uniform magnetic field, the method is shown to conserve both particle kinetic energy and magnetic dipole moment better than midpoint Runge-Kutta. We then use the magnetic velocity Verlet method to generate trapped particle trajectories, both in a cylindrical magnetic mirror machine setup, and for dipolar fields like the earth's magnetic field. Finally, the method is used to compute an example of (single) mirror motion in the presence of a magnetic monopole field, where the trajectory can be described in closed form.
Comments: To appear, American Journal of Physics