A discontinuous Galerkin finite-element method for a 1D prototype of the Boltzmann equation

W. Hoitinga, E.H. Brummelen, van

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To develop and analyze new computational techniques for the Boltzmann equation based on model or approximation adaptivity, it is imperative to have disposal of a compliant model problem that displays the essential characteristics of the Boltzmann equation and that admits the extraction of highly accurate reference solutions. For standard collision processes, the Boltzmann equation itself fails to meet the second requirement for d = 2, 3 spatial dimensions, on account of its setting in 2d, while for d = 1 the first requirement is violated because the Boltzmann equation then lacks the convergence-to-equilibrium property that forms the substructure of simplified models. In this article we present a numerical investigation of a new one-dimensional prototype of the Boltzmann equation. The underlying molecular model is endowed with random collisions, which have been fabricated such that the corresponding Boltzmann equation exhibits convergence to Maxwell–Boltzmann equilibrium solutions. The new Boltzmann model is approximated by means of a discontinuous Galerkin (DG) finite-element method. To validate the one-dimensional Boltzmann model, we conduct numerical experiments and compare the results with Monte-Carlo simulations of equivalent molecular-dynamics models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6115-6135
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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