Methods for Unsteady Problems

  • Joel H. Ferziger
  • Milovan Perić


In computing unsteady flows, we have a fourth coordinate direction to consider: time. Just as with the space coordinates, time must be discretized. We can consider the time “grid” in either the finite difference spirit , as discrete points in time, or in a finite volume view as “time volumes” . The major difference between the space and time coordinates lies in the direct ion of influence: whereas a force at any space location may (in elliptic problems) influence the flow anywhere else, forcing at a given instant will affect the flow only in the future - there is no backward influence. Unsteady flows are, therefore, parabolic-like in time. This means that no conditions can be imposed on the solution (except at the boundaries) at any time after the initiation of the calculation, which has a strong influence on the choice of solution strategy. To be faithful to the nature of time, essentially all solution methods advance in time in a step-by-step or “marching” manner. These methods are very similar to ones applied to initial value problems for ordinary differential equations (ODEs) so we shall give a brief review of such methods in t he next section.


Time Level Euler Method Order Scheme Large Time Step Midpoint Rule 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joel H. Ferziger
    • 1
  • Milovan Perić
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of Mechanical EngineeringStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Computational DynamicsNürnbergGermany

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