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Spectral method for solving the nonlinear Thomas-Fermi equation based on exponential functions. (English) Zbl 1437.65083

Summary: We present an efficient spectral methods solver for the Thomas-Fermi equation for neutral atoms in a semi-infinite domain. The ordinary differential equation has been solved by applying a spectral method using an exponential basis set. One of the main advantages of this approach, when compared to other relevant applications of spectral methods, is that the underlying integrals can be solved analytically and numerical integration can be avoided. The nonlinear algebraic system of equations that is derived using this method is solved using a minimization approach. The presented method has shown robustness in the sense that it can find high precision solution for a wide range of parameters that define the basis set. In our test, we show that the new approach can achieve a very high rate of convergence using a small number of bases elements. We also present a comparison of recently published results for this problem using spectral methods based on several different basis sets. The comparison shows that our method is highly competitive and in many aspects outperforms the previous work.

MSC:

65L60 Finite element, Rayleigh-Ritz, Galerkin and collocation methods for ordinary differential equations
34B15 Nonlinear boundary value problems for ordinary differential equations
65L10 Numerical solution of boundary value problems involving ordinary differential equations
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