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General Description

COMSOL Multiphysics is a powerful interactive environment for modeling and solving all kinds of scientific and engineering problems. The all-new version 4 provides a powerful integrated desktop environment with a Model Builder where you get full overview of the model and access to all functionality. With this software you can easily extend conventional models for one type of physics into multiphysics models that solve coupled physics phenomena - and do so simultaneously. Accessing this power does not require an in-depth knowledge of mathematics or numerical analysis.

When solving the models, COMSOL Multiphysics uses the proven finite element method (FEM). The software runs the finite element analysis together with adaptive meshing (if selected) and error control using a variety of numerical solvers. The studies can make use of multiprocessor systems and cluster computing, and you can run batch jobs and parametric sweeps.

Basic Usage

Using the GUI

COMSOL can be invoked standalone on the command line as follows:

module load comsol

Please read the User Guide (below) for further options

Running in Batch Mode

COMSOL can be submitted to CRC cluster queues using BATCH mode. A job script example is provided below:

#$ -M <your_netid>
#$ -m abe
#$ -q long
#$ -pe smp 8 

module load comsol
comsol -np $NSLOTS batch -inputfile <file> -outputfile <file> 

Please read the User Guide (below) for further Batch Mode options

Shared Memory Processing

By default COMSOL will use all available processors on a machine. To minimize conflicts with other user processes please ensure the number of processes you request in your job script match the number requested on the COMSOL command line.

To specify the number of processes on the COMSOL command line please add the following argument:

comsol -np <#cores> batch ...

Graphics Information

The OpenGL graphics libraries on our machines are not compatible with the latest versions of Comsol v4+. This results in distortion or incompleteness of rendered images. To overcome this issue please set your COMSOL graphics configuration to use software rendering via the following menu option:

Option -> Preferences > Graphics > Rendering > Software

In addition, you may get OpenGL errors if you are trying to run COMSOL over a remote connection. Typically, these can be ignored as COMSOL appears to be smart enough to realize this and adjust accordingly. For a more indepth discussion, see this thread.

License Information

'comsol_license' command can be used to check how many comsol licenses available at any given time.

module load comsol

  • CRC provides 5 floating licenses for COMSOL (usable by all ND faculty)
  • Note that due to high demand, a COMSOL license is only valide for a maximum of 48 hours with a 1 hour waiting period between checkouts.

Current Supported Modules:​

Module License#
COMSOL Multiphysics 5
CAD Import 1
Chemical Reaction Engineering 2
Heat Transfer 2
Microfluidics 1
RF 1
Structural Mechanics 2
Wave Optics 1

Knowledge Base

COMSOL users are entitled to online support via the COMSOL knowledge base. To create an online account please visit the following link.

To complete the registration, you will need to upload a current COMSOL license file. Please contact CRCSupport for this information.

User Guides

Further Information

See the official site: COMSOL