Journal of Scientific Computing

, Volume 61, Issue 1, pp 196–221 | Cite as

Lower Bounds for Eigenvalues of Elliptic Operators: By Nonconforming Finite Element Methods

  • Jun Hu
  • Yunqing Huang
  • Qun Lin


The paper is to introduce a new systematic method that can produce lower bounds for eigenvalues. The main idea is to use nonconforming finite element methods. The conclusion is that if local approximation properties of nonconforming finite element spaces are better than total errors (sums of global approximation errors and consistency errors) of nonconforming finite element methods, corresponding methods will produce lower bounds for eigenvalues. More precisely, under three conditions on continuity and approximation properties of nonconforming finite element spaces we analyze abstract error estimates of approximate eigenvalues and eigenfunctions. Subsequently, we propose one more condition and prove that it is sufficient to guarantee nonconforming finite element methods to produce lower bounds for eigenvalues of symmetric elliptic operators. We show that this condition hold for most low-order nonconforming finite elements in literature. In addition, this condition provides a guidance to modify known nonconforming elements in literature and to propose new nonconforming elements. In fact, we enrich locally the Crouzeix-Raviart element such that the new element satisfies the condition; we also propose a new nonconforming element for second order elliptic operators and prove that it will yield lower bounds for eigenvalues. Finally, we prove the saturation condition for most nonconforming elements.


Lower bound Nonconforming element Eigenvalue  Elliptic operator 

Mathematics Subject Classification

65N30 65N15 35J25 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LMAM and School of Mathematical SciencesPeking UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Hunan Key Laboratory for Computation and Simulation in Science and EngineeringXiangtan UniversityXiangtanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.LSEC, ICMSEC, Academy of Mathematics and Systems ScienceChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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