Even-parity finite-element transport methods in the diffusion limit Academic Article uri icon


  • We use an asymptotic analysis to investigate the behavior of continuous finite-element-method (CFEM) discretizations of the even-parity transport equation, in problems containing optically thick diffusive regions. Our first interesting result is that we can analyze the entire family of even-parity CFEMs, and can do so in three dimensions on an arbitrarily-connected grid. (Previous asymptotic analyses have been restricted to specific discretizations, either in slab geometry or in XY geometry on a rectangular grid.) We show that every even-parity CFEM transport solution satisfies a corresponding CFEM discretization of the correct diffusion equation in the diffusion limit, which is a highly desirable property. We further show that this solution is subject to a Dirichlet boundary condition given by a cosine (|n·Ω|) weighting of the incident intensity. We show that this boundary condition, which is less accurate than we would like, means that in certain problems the transport solution in a diffusive region can be more than a factor of two greater than the correct solution. We also show that the CFEM transport solution can be incorrect in non-diffusive regions that are adjacent to diffusive regions, no matter how fine the spatial grid is in the non-diffusive region. We give numerical results from slab geometry verifying the predictions of our analysis. © 1991.

author list (cited authors)

  • Adams, M. L.

citation count

  • 11

publication date

  • January 1991