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Adaptive finite element methods for Cahn-Hilliard equations. (English) Zbl 1143.65076
Summary: We develop a method for adaptive mesh refinement for steady state problems that arise in the numerical solution of Cahn-Hilliard equations with an obstacle free energy. The problem is discretized in time by the backward-Euler method and in space by linear finite elements. The adaptive mesh refinement is performed using residual based a posteriori estimates; the time step is adapted using a heuristic criterion. We describe the space-time adaptive algorithm and present numerical experiments in two and three space dimensions that demonstrate the usefulness of our approach.

MSC:
65M60 Finite element, Rayleigh-Ritz and Galerkin methods for initial value and initial-boundary value problems involving PDEs
65M06 Finite difference methods for initial value and initial-boundary value problems involving PDEs
35M10 PDEs of mixed type
35Q53 KdV equations (Korteweg-de Vries equations)
65M15 Error bounds for initial value and initial-boundary value problems involving PDEs
65M50 Mesh generation, refinement, and adaptive methods for the numerical solution of initial value and initial-boundary value problems involving PDEs
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