By James C. Robinson

This advent to boring differential and distinction equations is suitable not just for mathematicians yet for scientists and engineers besides. designated recommendations tools and qualitative techniques are coated, and plenty of illustrative examples are incorporated. Matlab is used to generate graphical representations of ideas. a variety of routines are featured and proved ideas can be found for academics.

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**Extra resources for An Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations **

**Example text**

We can decrease t (from zero) as much as we like, since as t decreases the denominator becomes larger, and so the solution itself tends to zero as t → −∞. 6) on the interval (−∞, x0−1 ), but there is no way to deﬁne the solution on an interval that extends further into the future beyond the time t = x0−1 . 6). 4 also shows that solutions with x0 < 0 tend to −∞ as t decreases towards a ﬁnite t ∗ < 0. When x0 < 0 the maximal interval of existence is (x0−1 , +∞), and only for x0 = 0 can we deﬁne a solution for all t ∈ R (and then the solution is x(t) ≡ 0).

If we substitute this guess in and it works, then it must in fact be the solution since we know that there is no other. We have already used this implicitly in Chapter 1 when we just checked that our solution N (t) = Ns ek(t−s) worked, and then assumed that it must be the only solution. As with existence, uniqueness is not automatic. 3) dx/dt = x has an inﬁnite number of solutions. The ‘obvious’ solution is x(t) = 0 for all t ≥ 0. But if you choose any value of c > 0, the function xc (t) = 0 (t − c)2 /4 t ≤c t >c also satisﬁes the equation.

2. 1. qualitative behaviour of the solutions at a glance, even when we cannot write down the solutions explicitly. 2 Stability, instability and bifurcation Looking at the phase diagram for the above example, we can see that some stationary points are ‘attracting’ (nearby solutions approach), while some appear to be ‘repelling’ (nearby solutions move away). These ideas can be made mathematically precise and are extremely important in applications. A stationary point is stable if when you start close enough to it you stay close to it.