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SIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis


The “drum problem''---finding the eigenvalues and eigenfunctions of the Laplacian with Dirichlet boundary condition---has many applications, yet remains challenging for general domains when high accuracy or high frequency is needed. Boundary integral equations are appealing for large-scale problems, yet certain difficulties have limited their use. We introduce the following two ideas to remedy this: (1) We solve the resulting nonlinear eigenvalue problem using Boyd's method for analytic root-finding applied to the Fredholm determinant, and we show that this is many times faster than the usual iterative minimization of a singular value. (2) We fix the problem of spurious exterior resonances via a combined field representation. This also provides the first robust boundary integral eigenvalue method for non--simply connected domains. We implement the new method in two dimensions using spectrally accurate Nyström product quadrature. We prove exponential convergence of the determinant at roots for domains with analytic boundary. We demonstrate 13-digit accuracy, and improved efficiency, in a variety of domain shapes including a nonconvex cavity shape with strong exterior resonances.



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