A priori error estimates and computational studies for a Fermi pencil-beam equation
We derive a priori error estimates for the standard Galerkin and streamline diffusion
finite element methods for the Fermi pencil-beam equation obtained from a fully three dimensional Fokker-Planck equation in space x = (x; y; z) and velocity variables. The Fokker-Planck term appears as a Laplace-Beltrami operator in the unit sphere. The diffusion term in the Fermi equation is obtained as a projection of the FP operator onto the tangent plane to the unit sphere at the pole (1; 0; 0) and in the direction of v0 = (1; v2, v3). Hence the Fermi equation, stated in three dimensional spatial domain x = (x; y; z), depends only on two velocity variables v = (v2; v3). Since, for a certain number of cross-sections, there is a closed form analytic solution available for the Fermi equation, hence an a posteriori error estimate procedure is unnecessary and
in our adaptive algorithm for local mesh refinements we employ the a priori approach.
Different numerical examples, in two space dimensions are justifying the theoretical results. Implementations show significant reduction of the computational error by using our adaptive algorithm.
a priori error estimates
adaptive finite element method
Fermi and Fokker-Planck pencil-beam equations