Best ODE algorithm to use for time/velocity independent potentials?

In summary, the individual is looking for the best ODE algorithm to simulate the motion of multiple points interacting via potentials. They are specifically interested in an algorithm that is both accurate and not too complicated. The expert recommends Runge-Kutta, specifically a fourth order for decent convergence. The individual also inquires about the superiority of RK4 compared to other algorithms such as Beeman or velocity-Verlet, and the expert mentions that RK4 is commonly used and may provide better accuracy in terms of trajectory.
  • #1
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Hello, I am not sure if this is the right place to ask this, but I don't readily see a "numerical methods" forum here so I assumed this would be the place to go. Sorry if I overlooked another place to post this!

Anyway, I have some points interacting via potentials that are dependent only on distances (IE, not time or velocity), and I am wondering what would be the best ODE algorithm to use to simulate the motions of these points. The number of interacting points is fairly large, from 150 to 300. Let's say they're interacting via an additive pairwise potential similar to Newton's law of gravitation.

What would be a decent ODE algorithm to use that is both fairly accurate (and not subject to huge error propagation) and not too complicated for solving the equations of motion?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
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  • #2
Runge-Kutta is a standard ODE algorithm for problems like yours. Try a fourth order for reasonably decent convergence.
 
  • #3
Is RK4 noticeably better than, for example, Beeman or velocity-Verlet? I've never used RK4, though I know it's the word for many people. I don't know much about it. Right now, I'm using Beeman for energy conservation, though what I'm most interested in is accuracy of trajectories. Would RK give me a bump up in this category?

Thank you in advance!
 

1. What is an ODE algorithm?

An ODE algorithm, or ordinary differential equation algorithm, is a mathematical method used to solve differential equations. Differential equations are equations that describe the relationship between a function and its derivatives. ODE algorithms are commonly used in physics, engineering, and other scientific fields to model real-world systems and predict their behavior.

2. What are time and velocity independent potentials?

Time and velocity independent potentials refer to a type of potential energy function in physics. They are functions that do not depend on time or velocity, but only on the position of a particle. This type of potential is commonly used in classical mechanics, and it simplifies the equations of motion for a system.

3. Why is it important to choose the best ODE algorithm for time/velocity independent potentials?

The choice of ODE algorithm can greatly affect the accuracy and efficiency of a simulation. Time and velocity independent potentials are often used in complex systems, and the accuracy of the ODE algorithm is crucial for obtaining reliable results. Choosing the best algorithm can also save computational time and resources.

4. What are some popular ODE algorithms for time/velocity independent potentials?

Some popular ODE algorithms for time/velocity independent potentials include the Runge-Kutta methods, the Verlet algorithm, and the Bulirsch-Stoer algorithm. These algorithms vary in their accuracy, stability, and computational cost, and the best choice depends on the specific system being studied.

5. How do I determine the best ODE algorithm for my system?

Determining the best ODE algorithm for a specific system requires careful consideration of factors such as the accuracy requirements, stability, and computational cost. It is also important to consider any special features or constraints of the system, such as symmetries or conservation laws. Consulting with experts in the field or conducting a thorough literature review can also help in determining the best algorithm for a particular system.

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