Initial conditions for numerical relativity: Introduction to numerical methods for solving elliptic pdes

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Numerical relativity became a powerful tool to investigate the dynamics of binary problems with black holes or neutron stars as well as the very structure of General Relativity. Although public numerical relativity codes are available to evolve such systems, a proper understanding of the methods involved is quite important. Here, we focus on the numerical solution of elliptic partial differential equations. Such equations arise when preparing initial data for numerical relativity, but also for monitoring the evolution of black holes. Because such elliptic equations play an important role in many branches of physics, we give an overview of the topic, and show how to numerically solve them with simple examples and sample codes written in C++ and Fortran90 for beginners in numerical relativity or other fields requiring numerical expertise.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1340016
JournalInternational Journal of Modern Physics A
Issue number22-23
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Sep 20



  • Black hole
  • Numerical method
  • Numerical relativity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

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