A novel, structure-preserving, second-order-in-time relaxation scheme for Schrödinger-Poisson systems

Agissilaos Athanassoulis*, Theodoros Katsaounis, Irene Kyza, Stephen Metcalfe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We introduce a new structure preserving, second order in time relaxation-type scheme for approximating solutions of the Schrödinger-Poisson system. More specifically, we use the Crank-Nicolson scheme as a time stepping mechanism, whilst the nonlinearity is handled by means of a relaxation approach in the spirit of [10,11,34] for the nonlinear Schrödinger equation. For the spatial discretisation we use the standard conforming finite element scheme. The resulting scheme is explicit with respect to the nonlinearity, i.e. it requires the solution of a linear system for each time-step, and satisfies discrete versions of the system's mass conservation and energy balance laws for constant meshes. The scheme is seen to be second order in time. We conclude by presenting some numerical experiments, including an example from cosmology and an example with variable time-steps which demonstrate the effectiveness and robustness of the new scheme.

Original languageEnglish
Article number112307
JournalJournal of Computational Physics
Early online date17 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023


  • Energy preserving scheme
  • Finite element method
  • Relaxation scheme in time
  • Schrödinger-Poisson system


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