Introduction to Comsol Multiphysics
Computer simulation has become an essential part of science and engineering.
Digital analysis of components, in particular, is important when developing new
products or optimizing designs. Today a broad spectrum of options for simulation is
available; researchers use everything from basic programming languages to various
high-level packages implementing advanced methods. Though each of these
techniques has its own unique attributes, they all share a common concern: Can you
rely on the results?
When considering what makes software reliable, it’s helpful to remember the goal:
you want a model that accurately depicts what happens in the real world. A
computer simulation environment is simply a translation of real-world physical laws
into their virtual form. How much simplification takes place in the translation process
helps to determine the accuracy of the resulting model.
It would be ideal, then, to have a simulation environment that included the possibility
to add any physical effect to your model. That is what COMSOL is all about. It’s a
flexible platform that allows even novice users to model all relevant physical aspects
of their designs. Advanced users can go deeper and use their knowledge to develop
customized solutions, applicable to their unique circumstances. With this kind of
all-inclusive modeling environment, COMSOL gives you the confidence to build the
model you want with real-world precision.
Certain characteristics of COMSOL become apparent with use. Compatibility stands
out among these. COMSOL requires that every type of simulation included in the
package has the ability to be combined with any other. This strict requirement
actually mirrors what happens in the real world. For instance in nature, electricity is
always accompanied by some thermal effect; the two are fully compatible. Enforcing
compatibility guarantees consistent multiphysics models, and the knowledge that,
even as the COMSOL family of products expands, you never have to worry about
creating a disconnected model again.
Another noticeable trait of the COMSOL platform is adaptability. As your modeling
needs change, so does the software. If you find yourself in need of including another
physical effect, you can just add it. If one of the inputs to your model requires a
formula, you can just enter it. Using tools like parameterized geometry, interactive
meshing, and custom solver sequences, you can quickly adapt to the ebbs and flows
of your requirements.
2 | Introduction
COMSOL Multiphysics also has several problem-solving benefits. When starting a
new project, using COMSOL helps you understand your problem. You are able to
test out various geometrical and physical characteristics of your model, so you can
really hone in on the important design challenges. The flexible nature of the
COMSOL environment facilitates further analysis by making “what-if” cases easy to
set up and run. You can take your simulation to the production level by optimizing
any aspect of your model. Parameter sweeps and target functions can be executed
right in the user interface. From start to finish, COMSOL is a complete
As you become a more experienced user of COMSOL, your confidence in computer
simulation will grow. You will become a more efficient modeler, and the results will
show it. The remainder of this introduction is dedicated to give you a strong start
toward this goal. After a general introduction to the user interface, several tutorials
will take you step by step through sample models that highlight important features.
The informative charts give you an idea of COMSOL’s capability by associated files,
functions, and built-in options. By the end you will be well on your way to reaping all
the benefits that COMSOL has to offer.