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General Blog Posts

On Solvers: The V-Cycle Multigrid

February 13, 2013

As discussed previously on the blog, iterative methods efficiently eliminate oscillatory error components while leaving the smooth ones almost untouched (smoothing property). Multigrid methods, in particular, use the smoothing property, nested iteration, and residual correction to optimize convergence. Before putting all of the pieces of this proverbial puzzle together, we need to introduce residual correction and dive a bit deeper into nested iteration. Let’s begin with the latter of these elements.

On Solvers: Multigrid Methods

February 8, 2013

Solution methods are a valuable tool for ensuring the efficiency of a design as well as reducing the overall number of prototypes that are needed. In today’s blog post, we introduce you to a particular type of method known as multigrid methods and explore the ideas behind their use in COMSOL Multiphysics.

Meshing: Cap off for Cap on

October 11, 2012

Oftentimes when you are working with devices with internal fluid flow, the imported CAD design represents the vessel material. The inside is plainly void. This may leave you clueless since it is inside where you want to create a volume mesh for the flow equations. How can you solve this meshing problem in COMSOL?

Equations: Who Needs Them?

September 28, 2012

Most of us take mathematical modeling for granted. After all, we’re taught physics and calculus almost hand-in-hand. But we owe a lot to the early pioneers like Isaac Newton, who demonstrated and strongly promoted interpreting natural phenomena through equations. Differential equations are especially useful since most things change as time marches on. Since we live in 3D space, partial differential equations (i.e., equations that express change in more than one “direction”) arise as the prominent tool to express continuum level […]

User Tip: All About Icons

September 25, 2012

I give a lot of COMSOL workshops — about 20 so far this year. These are great events and they include hands-on minicourses, which allow me to connect with the audience. One topic that I often spend a few minutes on might surprise you: icons. The icons, especially those found at the nodes in the Model Builder, are packed with useful information. They’re easy to miss because they’re small, but knowing what they mean can be a big help.

Moore’s Law for Solvers

September 12, 2012

At the heart of any simulation software are the solvers. Those are things that take geometry/mesh/physics to the computational results. While it’s convenient to think about solvers in terms of the type of study (think time-dependent, parametric, or eigenvalue), there is a hierarchy of solvers that are usually employed. And at the foundational level of any simulation — and for every iteration — there is a linear solver.

Multiphysics Makes Single-Physics Simulations Better

September 11, 2012

Coupled physics phenomena (like electrical heating, fluid structure interaction, and conjugate heat transfer) demand multiphysics, which I’ve written about previously in “What is Multiphysics?”. But what if you just have a simple analysis to do — one that has been simplified to the point where only a “single physics” (to coin a term) is considered? What benefits does multiphysics have for this?

What Is Multiphysics?

September 4, 2012

If you’re a cynic (like I am sometimes), the term “multiphysics” might irk you. There’s only one set of physical laws, after all. There’s nothing “multi” about it. So what is multiphysics?


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