fd1d_heat_explicit, a C code which solves the time-dependent 1D heat equation, using the finite difference method in space, and an explicit version of the method of lines to handle integration in time.
This program solves
dUdT - k * d2UdX2 = F(X,T)over the interval [A,B] with boundary conditions
U(A,T) = UA(T), U(B,T) = UB(T),over the time interval [T0,T1] with initial conditions
U(X,T0) = U0(X)
A second order finite difference is used to approximate the second derivative in space.
The solver applies an explicit forward Euler approximation to the first derivative in time.
The resulting finite difference form can be written as
U(X,T+dt) - U(X,T) ( U(X-dx,T) - 2 U(X,T) + U(X+dx,T) ) ------------------ = F(X,T) + k * ------------------------------------ dt dx * dxor, assuming we have solved for all values of U at time T, we have
U(X,T+dt) = U(X,T) + dt * ( F(X,T) + k * ( U(X-dx,T) - 2 U(X,T) + U(X+dx,T) ) / dx / dx )
Other approaches would involve a fully implicit backward Euler approximation or the Crank-Nicholson approximation. These latter two methods have improved stability.
A second worthwhile change would be to replace the constant heat conductivity K by a function K(X,T). The spatial variation would allow for the modeling of a region divided into subregions of different materials.
The computer code and data files described and made available on this web page are distributed under the MIT license
fd1d_heat_explicit is available in a C version and a C++ version and a FORTRAN90 version and a MATLAB version and a Python version
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