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On the Partial Analytical Solution of the Kirchhoff Equation

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNTCS,volume 9301)


We derive a combined analytical and numerical scheme to solve the (1+1)-dimensional differential Kirchhoff system. Here the object is to obtain an accurate as well as an efficient solution process. Purely numerical algorithms typically have the disadvantage that the quality of the solutions decreases enormously with increasing temporal step sizes, which results from the numerical stiffness of the underlying partial differential equations. To prevent that, we apply a differential Thomas decomposition and a Lie symmetry analysis to derive explicit analytical solutions to specific parts of the Kirchhoff system. These solutions are general and depend on arbitrary functions, which we set up according to the numerical solution of the remaining parts. In contrast to a purely numerical handling, this reduces the numerical solution space and prevents the system from becoming unstable. The differential Kirchhoff equation describes the dynamic equilibrium of one-dimensional continua, i.e. slender structures like fibers. We evaluate the advantage of our method by simulating a cilia carpet.


  • Differential Thomas Decomposition
  • Kirchhoff Rods
  • Lie Symmetry Analysis
  • Partial Analytical Solutions
  • Partial Differential Equations
  • Semi-analytical Integration

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Correspondence to Dominik L. Michels .

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Michels, D.L., Lyakhov, D.A., Gerdt, V.P., Sobottka, G.A., Weber, A.G. (2015). On the Partial Analytical Solution of the Kirchhoff Equation. In: Gerdt, V., Koepf, W., Seiler, W., Vorozhtsov, E. (eds) Computer Algebra in Scientific Computing. CASC 2015. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 9301. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-24020-6

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