### finite element method

**(FEM, FEA, finite element analysis)**
(computational method for PDEs suited to physical problems)

**Finite element method** (**FEM**) refers to a general
method for calculating solutions to partial differential equations.
It is suited to a number of types of physical problems including
fluid dynamics. Variants have been in development since the 1950s,
originally for engineering problems.

The finite element method involves breaking the modeled
phenomena (e.g., a field) into parts with flat sides,
straight edges, and corners (nodes), and generates a set
of simultaneous algebraic equations that indicate the
field values at the nodes and interpolate to estimate
other values.

(*mathematics,physics,computation,fluid dynamics*)
**Further reading:**

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finite_element_method

http://web.mit.edu/16.810/www/16.810_L4_CAE.pdf

**Referenced by pages:**

basis function

discontinuous Galerkin method

numerical analysis

Index