Motion by intrinsic Laplacian of curvature

David L Chopp, J. A. Sethian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


In this paper, we discuss numerical schemes to model the motion of curves and surfaces under the intrinsic Laplacian of curvature. This is an intrinsically difficult problem, due to the lack of a maximum principle and the delicate nature of computing an equation of motion which includes a fourth derivative term. We design and analyze a host of algorithms to try and follow motion under this flow, and discuss the virtues and pitfalls of each. Synthesizing the results of these various algorithms, we provide a technique which is stable and handles very delicate motion in two and three dimensions. We apply this algorithm to problems of surface diffusion low, which is of value for problems in surface diffusion, metal relow in semiconductor manufacturing, sintering, and elastic membrane simulations. in addition, we provide examples of the extension of this technique to anisotropic diffusivity and surface energy which results in an anisotropic form of the equation of motion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-123
Number of pages17
JournalInterfaces and Free Boundaries
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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