## Abstract

The scalar and vector Laplacians are basic operators in physics and engineering. In applications, they frequently show up perturbed by lowerorder terms. The effect of such perturbations on mixed finite element methods in the scalar case is well understood, but that in the vector case is not. In this paper, we first show that, surprisingly, for certain elements there is degradation of the convergence rates with certain lower-order terms even when both the solution and the data are smooth. We then give a systematic analysis of lower-order terms in mixed methods by extending the Finite Element Exterior Calculus (FEEC) framework, which contains the scalar, vector Laplacian, and many other elliptic operators as special cases. We prove that stable mixed discretization remains stable with lower-order terms for sufficiently fine discretization. Moreover, we derive sharp improved error estimates for each individual variable. In particular, this yields new results for the vector Laplacian problem which are useful in applications such as electromagnetism and acoustics modeling. Further, our results imply many previous results for the scalar problem and thus unify them all under the FEEC framework.

Original language | English (US) |
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Pages (from-to) | 2193-2212 |

Number of pages | 20 |

Journal | Mathematics of Computation |

Volume | 86 |

Issue number | 307 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - 2017 |

### Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:© 2017 American Mathematical Society.

## Keywords

- Finite element exterior calculus
- Lower-order terms