Discontinuous Galerkin Methods for the Linear Boltzmann Transport Equation

Radley, Thomas (2023) Discontinuous Galerkin Methods for the Linear Boltzmann Transport Equation. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Radiation transport is an area of applied physics that is concerned with the propagation and distribution of radiative particle species such as photons and electrons within a material medium. Deterministic models of radiation transport are used in a wide range of problems including radiotherapy treatment planning, nuclear reactor design and astrophysics. The central object in many such models is the (linear) Boltzmann transport equation, a high-dimensional partial integro-differential equation describing the absorption, scattering and emission of radiation.

In this thesis, we present high-order discontinuous Galerkin finite element discretisations of the time-independent linear Boltzmann transport equation in the spatial, angular and energetic domains. Efficient implementations of the angular and energetic components of the scheme are derived, and the resulting method is shown to converge with optimal convergence rates through a number of numerical examples.

The assembly of the spatial scheme on general polytopic meshes is discussed in more detail, and an assembly algorithm based on employing quadrature-free integration is introduced. The quadrature-free assembly algorithm is benchmarked against a standard quadrature-based approach, and an analysis of the algorithm applied to a more general class of discontinuous Galerkin discretisations is performed.

In view of developing efficient linear solvers for the system of equations resulting from our discontinuous Galerkin discretisation, we exploit the variational structure of the scheme to prove convergence results and derive a posteriori solver error estimates for a family of iterative solvers. These a posteriori solver error estimators can be used alongside standard implementations of the generalised minimal residual method to guarantee that the linear solver error between the exact and approximate finite element solutions (measured in a problem-specific norm) is below a user-specified tolerance. We discuss a family of transport-based preconditioners, and our linear solver convergence results are benchmarked through a family of numerical examples.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Hubbard, Matthew
Houston, Paul
Keywords: Discontinuous Galerkin finite element method, linear Boltzmann transport equation, polytopic meshes, linear solvers
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA299 Analysis
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical Sciences
Item ID: 73503
Depositing User: Radley, Thomas
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2023 12:54
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2023 04:40
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/73503

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