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Multi-symplectic integrators: numerical schemes for Hamiltonian PDEs that conserve symplecticity. (English) Zbl 0984.37104
Summary: The symplectic numerical integration of finite-dimensional Hamiltonian systems is a well established subject and has led to a deeper understanding of existing methods as well as to the development of new very efficient and accurate schemes, e.g., for rigid body, constrained, and molecular dynamics. The numerical integration of infinite-dimensional Hamiltonian systems or Hamiltonian PDEs is much less explored. In this Letter, we suggest a new theoretical framework for generalizing symplectic numerical integrators for ODEs to Hamiltonian PDEs in \(\mathbb{R}^2\): time plus one space dimension. The central idea is that symplecticity for Hamiltonian PDEs is directional: the symplectic structure of the PDE is decomposed into distinct components representing space and time independently. In this setting PDE integrators can be constructed by concatenating uni-directional ODE symplectic integrators. This suggests a natural definition of multi-symplectic integrator as a discretization that conserves a discrete version of the conservation of symplecticity for Hamiltonian PDEs. We show that this approach leads to a general framework for geometric numerical schemes for Hamiltonian PDEs, which have remarkable energy and momentum conservation properties. Generalizations, including development of higher-order methods, application to the Euler equations in fluid mechanics, application to perturbed systems, and extension to more than one space dimension are also discussed.

MSC:
37M15 Discretization methods and integrators (symplectic, variational, geometric, etc.) for dynamical systems
37J05 Relations of dynamical systems with symplectic geometry and topology (MSC2010)
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