On the numerical solution of the biharmonic equation in the plane

Anne Greenbaum, Leslie Greengard, Anita Mayo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The biharmonic equation arises in a variety of problems in applied mathematics, most notably in plane elasticity and in viscous incompressible flow. Integral equation methods are natural candidates for the numerical solution of such problems, since they discritize the boundary alone, are easy to apply in the case of free or moving boundaries, and achieve superalgebraic convergence rates on sufficiently smooth domains, regardless of shape. In this paper, we follow the work of Mayo and Greenbaum and make use of the Sherman-Lauricella integral equation which is a Fredholm equation with bounded kernel. We describe a fast algorithm for the evaluation of the integral operators appearing in that equation. When combined with a conjugate gradient like algorithm, we are able to solve the discretized integral equation in an amount of time proportional to N, where N is the number of nodes in the discretization of the boundary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-225
Number of pages10
JournalPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - Nov 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Applied Mathematics


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