I studied many papers and I face with concept of numerical diffusion,but I don't understand it. Can someone explain briefly about numerical diffusion?

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    $\begingroup$ Your question would be a lot stronger if you explained what you think you understand about numerical diffusion and highlighted what aspects you're not clear on. That helps you avoid answers that repeat things that you think you already know. $\endgroup$
    – user16
    Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 17:50

1 Answer 1


Numerical diffusion is an artifact of solving finite differences numerically (typically on a computer). Error in discretization, formulation of the finite difference equations, or just machine precision can all cause an increase in (thermal/momentum) diffusivity of the material being simulated, causing the results to be (sometimes wildly) inaccurate.

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    $\begingroup$ Machine precision only factors into the picture when loss of significance occurs and generally is not considered as "numerical diffusion". $\endgroup$
    – Paul
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 8:39
  • $\begingroup$ This wiki article goes into more detail than the one you reference $\endgroup$
    – nluigi
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 11:51

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