A fast 3D particle method for the simulation of buoyant flow

Fabrice Schlegel, Daehyun Wee, Ahmed F. Ghoniem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This paper describes progress in several areas related to three-dimensional vortex methods and their application to multiphysics problems. The first is the solution of a generic scalar transport equation by advecting and diffusing the scalar gradient along a particle trajectory and onto a mesh, respectively, and recovering the scalar values using a Biot-Savart-like summation. The second is the accurate, high-resolution calculation of the velocity gradient using a fast treecode, which avoids using kinematic relations between the evolution of the gradients and the distortion of the flow map. The same tree structure is used to compute all the variables of interest and those required during the integration of the governing equations. Next, we apply our modified interpolation kernel algorithm for treating diffusion and remeshing to maintain long time accuracy. The coupling between vorticity transport and that of a dynamic scalar, in this case the temperature or density in a gravitational field, is manifested by the generation of vorticity. We demonstrate the performance of the multiphysics algorithm by solving a number of buoyant flow problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9063-9090
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue number21
StatePublished - 10 Nov 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, MICS.


  • Buoyant flow
  • Fast methods
  • Particle methods
  • Transport elements


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