Self-gravitational force calculation of infinitesimally thin gaseous disks

Chien Chang Yen*, Ronald E. Taam, Ken Huai Che Yeh, Kang C. Jea

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


A thin gaseous disk has often been investigated in the context of various phenomena in galaxies, which point to the existence of starburst rings and dense circumnuclear molecular disks. The effect of self-gravity of the gas in the 2D disk can be important in confronting observations and numerical simulations in detail. For use in such applications, a new method for the calculation of the gravitational force of a 2D disk is presented. Instead of solving the complete potential function problem, we calculate the force in infinite planes in Cartesian and polar coordinates by a reproducing kernel method. Under the limitation of a 2D disk, we specifically represent the force as a double summation of a convolution of the surface density and a fundamental kernel and employ a fast Fourier transform technique. In this method, the entire computational complexity can be reduced from O(N2×N2) to O(N2(log2N)2), where N is the number of zones in one dimension. This approach does not require softening. The proposed method is similar to a spectral method, but without the necessity of imposing a periodic boundary condition. We further show this approach is of near second order accuracy for a smooth surface density in a Cartesian coordinate system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8246-8261
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Issue number24
StatePublished - Oct 15 2012


  • Fast Fourier transform
  • Infinitesimally thin disk
  • Poisson equation
  • Reproducing kernel
  • Self-gravitating force

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Numerical Analysis
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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