Retrieving topological information for phase field models

D. U. Qiang, Chun Liu, Xiaoqiang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The phase field approach has become a popular tool in modeling interface motion, microstructure evolution, and more recently the shape transformation of vesicle membranes under elastic bending energy. While it is advantageous to employ phase field models in numerical simulations to automatically handle topological changes to the microstructures or the configurations of vesicle membranes, detecting topological events may also become important for many applications such as those in the simulation of blood cells. Motivated by such considerations, a new quantity is formulated to retrieve some topological information based on the phase field formulation and to capture the occurrence of topological events. It can also be used as a control method to avoid unphysical changes of topology due to the numerical methods, should it become necessary for particular practical applications. Through numerical experiments, we demonstrate the effectiveness and the robustness of the new quantity in detecting the topology of fluid bubbles and vesicle membranes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1913-1932
Number of pages20
JournalSIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Mathematics


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