For many stationary-state PDEs, solutions can be shown to satisfy certain key identities or structures, with physical interpretations such as the dissipation of energy. By reformulating these systems in terms of new auxiliary functions, finite-element models can ensure these structures also hold exactly for the numerical solutions. This approach is known to improve the solutions' accuracy and reliability.
In this talk, we extend this auxiliary function approach to the transient case through a finite-element-in-time interpretation. This allows us to develop novel structure-preserving timesteppers for various transient problems, including the Navier–Stokes and MHD equations, up to arbitrary order in time.