Effective Approximation for the Semiclassical Schrödinger Equation

Philipp Bader, Arieh Iserles, Karolina Kropielnicka, Pranav Singh

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The computation of the semiclassical Schrödinger equation presents major challenges because of the presence of a small parameter. Assuming periodic boundary conditions, the standard approach consists of semi-discretisation with a spectral method, followed by an exponential splitting. In this paper we sketch an alternative strategy. Our analysis commences with the investigation of the free Lie algebra generatedby differentiation and by multiplication with the interaction potential: it turns outthat this algebra possesses a structure which renders it amenable to a very effective form of asymptotic splitting: exponential splitting where consecutive terms are scaledby increasing powers of the small parameter. This leads to methods which attain high spatial and temporal accuracy and whose cost scales as O(M log M), where M is thenumber of degrees of freedom in the discretisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-720
Number of pages32
JournalFoundations of Computational Mathematics
Issue number4
Early online date19 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2014


  • Exponential splittings
  • Krylov subspace methods
  • Semiclassical Schrödinger equation
  • Spectral collocation
  • Zassenhaus splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analysis
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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