From electrostatics to almost optimal nodal sets for polynomial interpolation in a simplex
The electrostatic interpretation of the Jacobi-Gauss quadrature points is exploited to obtain interpolation points suitable for approximation of smooth functions defined on a simplex. Moreover, several new estimates, based on extensive numerical studies, for approximation along the line using Jacobi-Gauss-Lobatto quadrature points as the nodal sets are presented. The electrostatic analogy is extended to the two-dimensional case, with the emphasis being on nodal sets inside a triangle for which two very good matrices of nodal sets are presented. The matrices are evaluated by computing the Lebesgue constants and they share the property that the nodes along the edges of the simplex are the Gauss-Lobatto quadrature points of the Chebyshev and Legendre polynomials, respectively. This makes the resulting nodal sets particularly well suited for integration with conventional spectral methods and supplies a new nodal basis for h - p finite element methods.