Fast solvers for 3D Poisson equations involving interfaces in a finite or the infinite domain

Ming-Chih Lai, Zhilin Li*, Xiaobiao Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


In this paper, numerical methods are proposed for Poisson equations defined in a finite or infinite domain in three dimensions. In the domain, there can exists an interface across which the source term, the flux, and therefore the solution may be discontinuous. The existence and uniqueness of the solution are also discussed. To deal with the discontinuity in the source term and in the flux, the original problem is transformed to a new one with a smooth solution. Such a transformation can be carried out easily through an extension of the jumps along the normal direction if the interface is expressed as the zero level set of a three-dimensional function. An auxiliary sphere is used to separate the infinite region into an interior and exterior domain. The Kelvin's inversion is used to map the exterior domain into an interior domain. The two Poisson equations defined in the interior and the exterior written in spherical coordinates are solved simultaneously. By choosing the mesh size carefully and exploiting the fast Fourier transform, the resulting finite difference equations can be solved efficiently. The approach in dealing with the interface has also been used with the artificial boundary condition technique which truncates the infinite domain. Numerical results demonstrate second order accuracy of our algorithms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-125
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Computational and Applied Mathematics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2006


  • Arbitrary interface
  • Artificial boundary condition
  • Extension of jumps
  • Fast 3D Poisson solver
  • Immersed interface method
  • Infinite domain
  • Level set function
  • Spherical coordinates

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