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J ournal of Mathematics and SystemScience 3 (2013) 597-601

A Semi-Analytical Approach to Greens Functions for


Problems in Multiply-Connected Regions on a Spherical
Surface
V.N. Borodin
Computational Science Program, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN, USA

Received: May 21, 2013 / Accepted: J une 28, 2013 / Published: December 25, 2013.

Abstract: This work aims at potential fields generated by point sources in conductive perforated fragments of spherical shells. Such
fields are interpreted as profiles of Greens functions of relevant boundary-value problems stated in multiply-connected regions for
Laplace equation written in geographical coordinates. Those are efficiently computed by a modification of the method of functional
equations, with closed analytical forms preliminary obtained for Greens functions for the corresponding simply-connected regions.

Key words: Greens function, Laplace equation, spherical coordinates, surfaces with apertures.

Nomenclature


a Radius of a sphere
C
1
, C
2
Constants of integration
F or f Source-function
f

Reduced source-function
G
0
Greens function for simply-connected region
G Greens function for partial differential equation
g
n
Greens function for ordinary differential equation
M, M
1
, M
2
Boundary operators
n Index of summation in Fourier series
P Observation point
Q Source point
S, S
1
, S
2
Boundary of regions
2
S

Fictitious contour
u Potential field to be found
, ,
n n n
u f f

Fourier series coefficients
Greek Letters
Lower boundary for latitude coordinate
Upper boundary for latitude coordinate
Upper boundary for longitude coordinate
Constant, proportional to n
Density function
, Auxiliary functions

Corresponding author: Borodin V.N., Ph.D. student,
research fields: Greens functions, potential fields. E-mail:
vnboroda@gmail.com.
( ) ,

Latitude and longitude coordinates of the
observation point
( ) ,

Latitude and longitude coordinates of the arbitrarily
chosen source point
( ) ,

Latitude and longitude coordinates of the fixed
source point
Domain in general case

1
,
2
Domains in particular examples
1. Introduction
The Greens-function-based numerical approach to
boundary-value problems stated for partial differential
equations reveals high computational potential (see, for
example, [1-3, 5-8]). The Greens function
modification [3, 5, 9-12] of the method of boundary
integral equation has proven efficient in solving a
variety of boundary-value problems stated for elliptical
partial differential equations that arise in engineering
and science.
In the present study, we focus on the boundary-value
problem
( ) ( )
2
, u P F P P = (1)
( ) 0, M u P P S = (

(2)
stated for the two-dimensional Poisson equation in a
closed simply-connected region bounded with a
D
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A Semi-Anal ytical Approach to Greens Functions for Problems in Multipl y-Connected Regions on a
Spherical Surface

598
piecewise smooth counter S.
If there is available the Greens function for the
homogeneous problem corresponding to (1)-(2), then
the solution to the problem in (1)-(2) itself can be
expressed as
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ; u P G P Q F Q d Q

(3)

The above statement suggests a straightforward
approach to the construction of the Greens function
( ) ; G P Q
. Indeed, if one manages to obtain the solution
to the problem in (1)-(2) in the form of (3), then the
latter provides an explicit expression for ( ) ; G P Q
.
2. Problems Stated on a Spherical Surface
In the rectangular shaped region
( ) {
, =

}
| , 0
outlined on a spherical surface
of radius a and bounded with two parallels and two
meridians, we consider the two-dimensional Poisson
equation
( )
2
, 1
sin
sin
u
a


| |
+
|

\ .

( )
( )
2
2 2 2
, 1
, , in
sin
u
f
a


+ =

(4)
written in geographical coordinates

and . The
boundary conditions are imposed on the pieces of the
boundary of in the form
( ) ( )
1 2
, 0, , 0 M u M u = = ( (

(5)

( ) ( ) ,0 0, , 0 u u = = (6)

This allows us to express the solution to the above
problem as the Fourier sine series
( ) ( )
n
n 1
, sin , / u u n

=
= =

(7)

Expending the right-hand side function of (4) in the
series form
( ) ( )
n
n 1
, sin f f

=
=

(8)

and substituting the expressions from (7) and (8) into
(4)-(6), we arrive at the boundary-value problem
( )
( ) ( )
2
n
n n 2 2 2
1
sin
sin sin
du d
u f
a d d a



| |
=
|
\ .

( ) ( )
1 2
0, 0 M u M u = = ( (


in the coefficients ( )
n
u of the series from (7).
Applying the method of variation of parameters to
the above problem, its solution appears in the form
( ) ( ) ( )
n n n
, u g f d


Substituting this expression back into (7) and
expressing the Fourier coefficients ( )
n
f
of the
series in (8) in terms of the right-hand side function
( ) , f of equation (4), we finally obtain the solution
to the problem in (1)-(2) in the domain integral form
( ) ( ) ( )
n
n 1
0
2
, , sin sin , u g f d d


=
(
=
(



which reveals, in view of (3), the series expansion
( ) ( )
n
n 1
2
, ; , , sin sin G g


=
=

(9)

of the Greens function that we are looking for.
In the section that follows, we implement the
technique just briefly described to a particular
problem setting, and explore a possibility of the
summation of the series in (9) that represents the
Green's function.
3. Results and Discussion
To explore a particular problem of the type in (4)-(6),
for which the series in (9) appears to be completely
summable, we consider the Dirichlet boundary-value
problem
( ) ( ) ,0 0, , 0 u u = =
(10)

( ) ( )
0
lim , , lim , u u



< < (11)
for the equation in (4), stated in the spherical biangle
( ) { }
, |0 , 0 =
, where 0 2 < < .
Reducing (4) to a self-adjoint form, we have
( ) ( )
( )
2
2
, , 1
sin ,
sin
u u
f



| |
+ =
|

\ .


(12)

where ( ) , , and ( ) ( )
2
, , sin f a f =

.
The Fourier sine series expansion for ( ) , u shown
in (7) and
( ) ( )
n
n 1
, sin f f

=
=



A Semi-Anal ytical Approach to Greens Functions for Problems in Multipl y-Connected Regions on a
Spherical Surface

599
for ( ) , f

give birth to the boundary-value problem


( )
( ) ( )
2
n
n n
sin
sin
du d
u f
d d



| |
=
|
\ .


/ n =
(13)
( ) ( )
n n
0
lim , lim u u



< <
(14)

for the coefficients of the expansion in (7).
For the general solution to the equation in (13), we
routinely arrive [12] at
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
( ) ( )
n n
0
1 2
tan / 2 tan / 2 1
2 tan / 2 tan / 2
tan / 2 tan / 2
u f d
C C






| |
=
|
\ .
+ +


(15)
while the boundary conditions in (14) reveal for the
constants C
1
and C
2
the values
2
0 C = and
( ) ( )
1 n
0
1
cot / 2
2
C f d

=



transforming (15) to the compact form
( )
( )
( )
( )
n n
0
tan / 2 1
2 tan / 2
u f d

= +



( )
( )
( )
n
tan / 2
tan / 2
f d

(
+
(
(



which can further be reduced to the single integral
containing form
( ) ( ) ( )
n n n
0
, u g f d


(16)

whose kernel-function is defined in two pieces as
( )
( )
( )
( )
( )
n
tan / 2
, 0
tan / 2
1
,
2
tan / 2
,
tan / 2
g

(17)

Substituting the form of (16) into (7) and expressing
then the Fourier coefficients ( )
n
f

in terms of the
right-hand side function ( ) , f

of equation (13), we
finally arrive at the solution to the problem in (10)-(12)
in the form
( ) ( ) ( )
n
n 1
0
2
, , sin sin , u g f d d


=
(
=
(



which reveals the Greens function of the
homogeneous boundary-value problem corresponding
to (10)-(12) in the series form shown in (9) whose
coefficient is shown in (17). It can be summed up. In
doing so, we transform the series as
( )
( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
n
n 1
n n
n 1 n 1
, sin sin
1
, cos , cos
2
g
g g

=

= =
(
= +
(


(18)

and use then the standard [4] summation formula
( )
2
n 1
1
cos ln 1 2 cos
2
n
x
n x x
n

=
= +


which reduces (18) ultimately to
( ) , ; , G =

( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
2 2
2 2
2 cos 1
ln
4 2 cos


| | + +

|
+
\ .
(19)
where
( ) ( ) tan / 2 =
, and ( ) / =
In the next section, the closed computer-friendly
representation (19) of the Greens function, as well as
another one, obtained earlier in [12], will be used to
accurately compute profiles of Greens functions for
some multiply-connected regions.
4. Greens function for multiply-connected
region
Let represent a double-connected region on a
spherical surface, bounded with piecewise smooth
closed contours S
1
(exterior) and S
2
(interior). On
we consider a well-posed boundary-value problem
( ) ( )
2
2
, , 1
sin 0, in
sin
u u


| |
+ =
|

\ .

(20)

( )
1 1
, 0, on M u S = (

(21)
( )
2 2
, 0, on M u S = (

(22)
Let, also, ( )
0
, ; , G represent the Greens
function to the problem in (20)-(21) which is also
assumed well-posed.
For a fixed location ( ) ,
of the source point,
the profile of the Greens function ( ) , ; , G
of
the problem setting in (20)-(22) can be expressed as
( ) ( )
0
, ; , , ; ,

G G =

( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
2
0 2
, ; , , , , ,
S
G dS +

(23)

A Semi-Anal ytical Approach to Greens Functions for Problems in Multipl y-Connected Regions on a
Spherical Surface

600
where
2
S

is a smooth closed curve entirely embraced


by S
2
, to be laid up, therefore, out of . We are going
to refer to
2
S

as the fictitious contour.


It is evident that the two-variable and parameter
containing function of
and
in (23) is harmonic
in and satisfies the boundary condition of (21) for
any density function ( ) , which is supposed to
be integrable on
2
S

. To make (23) complying with the


boundary condition of (22), we take the limit of
( ) , ; , G
as ( ) , approaches the actual interior
contour S
2
. This leads to the regular functional (of
integral type) equation
( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
2
0 2 0
, ; , , , , ; ,
S
G dS G =

(24)

in the density function ( ) , .
The regularity of (24) follows from the fact that the
curves S
2
and
2
S

have no common points. This


makes a numerical solution of (24) for a fixed location
of the fictitious contour
2
S

a routine procedure, for


any location ( ) , of the source point. From our
experience, it also follows that the regularizing shape
and location of the fictitious contour
2
S

can
appropriately be determined through a straightforward
numerical experiment conducted on a case-by-case
basis. It appears, in particular, that the shape of
2
S


ought to somewhat resemble the shape of S
2
. It has
also to be located close enough to S
2
to provide a
required accuracy level. We determined also that the
distance between S
2
and
2
S

has to be within the range


of 3-4% of the local radius of curvature of S
2
.
To highlight the practicality of the proposed
approach to the semi-analytical construction of
Greens functions for regions of irregular
configuration outlined on spherical surfaces, and to
justify its computational efficiency, we present some
illustrative examples. For the first of those, we
consider a double-connected region
1
representing a
quarter of the spherical surface of radius a (a spherical
biangle)
( ) { }
, |0 , 0 / 2
(25)
which is weakened with an aperture having a contour
S. The latter is a circle representing the intersection of
the spherical surface and a circular cylinder of radius
0.25a, whose axis passes through the center of the
sphere.
Let the two-dimensional Laplace equation in (20)
be considered in
1
and let it be subject to the
Dirichlet boundary conditions
( ) ( ) ,0 0, , / 2 0 u u = =
,
(26)
( ) ( ) , 0, , u S =
,
(27)
in addition to which, the boundedness conditions
( ) ( )
0
lim , , lim , u u



< < (28)

must of course, be imposed at the poles of the
spherical surface to make the above problem setting
well-posed.
The potential field depicted in fragment a) of Figure
1 is generated in
1
by three unit sources located at
( ) 0.3 ,0.2 , ( ) 0.6 ,0.4 , and ( ) 0.7 ,0.15 . The
axis of the cylinder, that creates the aperture, has
directional angles of 0.5 and 0.25. Clearly, the
shown potential field can be interpreted as the
superposition of three profiles of the Green's function
computed for the problem in (26)-(28). To illustrate the
effect of the aperture, we showed in fragment b) the
field that would be generated by the same set of unit
sources acting in the simple connected region (25).
For another illustrative example, we consider a
boundary-value problem, whose Green's function has
also been computed [12] with the aid of the described
procedure. The problem is posed in a double-
connected region
2
representing the spherical belt
( ) { }
, |0.1 0.5 , 0 2

weakened with an aperture S. Since the region
2
is,
in this case, closed in the longitudinal direction, we
consider the boundary-value problem
( ) ( )
( ) ( ) ,0 ,2
,0 ,2 ,
u u
u u




= =

(29)
( ) ( ) 0.1 , 0, 0.5 , 0 u u = =
(30)
( ) ( ) , 0, , u S =
(31)
posed for the Laplace equation in (20).
A Semi-Anal ytical Approach to Greens Functions for Problems in Multipl y-Connected Regions on a
Spherical Surface

601

Fig. 1 The potential field generated in the double-
connected (a) and in the simply-connected (b) spherical
biangle.


Fig. 2 The potential field generated in the double-
connected (a) and in the simply-connected (b) spherical belt.

The potential field generated by a set of unit
sources in the spherical belt weakened with the
aperture is shown in Fig. 2.
Acknowledgments
It is with great pleasure that the author acknowledges
Dr. Yuri Melnikov in the Computational Sciences
Program at Middle Tennessee State University, who
has provided his professional guidance in this
remarkably interesting and enjoyable area of applied
mathematics.
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