# Questions tagged [differential-equations]

Ordinary or partial differential equations. Delay differential equations, neutral equations, integro-differential equations. Well-posedness, asymptotic behavior, and related questions.

1,205
questions

**138**

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**14**answers

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### What is an integrable system

What is an integrable system, and what is the significance of such systems? (Maybe it is easier to explain what a non-integrable system is.) In particular, is there a dichotomy between "integrable" ...

**116**

votes

**14**answers

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### Why study Lie algebras?

I don't mean to be rude asking this question, I know that the theory of Lie groups and Lie algebras is a very deep one, very aesthetic and that has broad applications in various areas of mathematics ...

**101**

votes

**1**answer

8k views

### Dropping three bodies

Consider the usual three-body problem with Newtonian
$1/r^2$ force between masses. Let the three masses start off at rest,
and not collinear. Then they will become collinear a finite time ...

**70**

votes

**4**answers

4k views

### What are reasons to believe that e is not a period?

In their 2001 paper defining periods, Kontsevich and Zagier (pdf) without further comment state that $e$ is conjecturally not a period while many other numbers showing up naturally (conjecturally) are....

**63**

votes

**2**answers

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### Why is differential Galois theory not widely used?

E.R.Kolchin has developed the differential Galois theory in 1950s. And it seems powerful a tool which can decide the solvability and the form of solutions to a given differential equation.(e.g. ...

**58**

votes

**9**answers

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### Motivating the Laplace transform definition

In undergraduate differential equations it's usual to deal with the Laplace transform to reduce the differential equation problem to an algebraic problem.
The Laplace transform of a function $f(t)$, ...

**51**

votes

**22**answers

6k views

### Which high-degree derivatives play an essential role?

Q. Which high-degree derivatives play an essential role
in applications, or in theorems?
Of course the 1st derivative of distance w.r.t. time (velocity), the 2nd derivative (acceleration),
and the ...

**49**

votes

**13**answers

65k views

### Good differential equations text for undergraduates who want to become pure mathematicians

Alright, so I have been taking a while to soak in as much advanced mathematics as an undergraduate as possible, taking courses in algebra, topology, complex analysis (a less rigorous undergraduate ...

**46**

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**9**answers

4k views

### Undergraduate ODE textbook following Rota

I imagine many people are familiar with the extremely entertaining article "Ten Lessons I Wish I Had Learned Before I Started Teaching Differential Equations" by Gian-Carlo Rota. (If you're not, do ...

**45**

votes

**1**answer

4k views

### D-modules, deRham spaces and microlocalization

Given a variety (or scheme, or stack, or presheaf on the category of rings), some geometers, myself included, like to study D-modules. The usual definition of a D-module is as sheaves of modules over ...

**43**

votes

**3**answers

5k views

### Could the Riemann zeta function be a solution for a known differential equation?

Riemann zeta function is a function of complex variable $s$ that analytically continous the sum of Dirichlet series .defined as :$$\zeta(s)=\sum_{n=1}^{\infty}\displaystyle \frac{1}{n^s} $$ for when ...

**41**

votes

**4**answers

12k views

### Function satisfying $f^{-1} =f'$

How many functions are there which are differentiable on $(0,\infty)$ and that satisfy the relation $f^{-1}=f'$?

**37**

votes

**9**answers

33k views

### Is square of Delta function defined somewhere?

everyone. I am wondering whether anyone knows if the square of Dirac Delta function is defined somewhere.
In the beginning, this question might look strange. But by restricting the space of the test ...

**32**

votes

**4**answers

5k views

### Why are differential forms called closed and exact?

It seems to me that "exact" relates to exact differential equation. So, why are they called exact?

**32**

votes

**5**answers

9k views

### Differentiable functions with discontinuous derivatives

For years I've taught my honors calculus students about functions like (the continuous extension of) $x^2 \sin 1/x$, and for just as many years I've told them that they won't encounter functions like ...

**32**

votes

**2**answers

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### Gently falling functions

I wonder if it is possible to characterize the class of
gently falling functions, which I would like to define
as follows.
Let $g(x)$ be a $C^2$ function defined on an interval
$R \subseteq \mathbb{R}$...

**30**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### What do we learn from the Wronskian in the theory of linear ODEs?

For a real interval $I$ and a continuous function $A: I \to \mathbb{R}^{d\times d}$, let $(x_1, \dots, x_d)$ denote a basis of the solution space of the non-autonomous ODE
$$
\dot x(t) = A(t) x(t) \...

**30**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### $f'=e^{f^{-1}}$, again

This question is a spin-off of this one, in which the OP asks whether there is a solution $f:\mathbb R\to\mathbb R$ of the functional equation (not exactly an ODE) $f'=e^{f^{-1}}$, where $f^{-1}$ is ...

**26**

votes

**8**answers

11k views

### Why have mathematicians used differential equations to model nature instead of difference equations

Ever since Newton invented Calculus, mathematicians have been using differential equations to model natural phenomena. And they have been very successful in doing such.
Yet, they could have been just ...

**25**

votes

**7**answers

2k views

### Does every ODE comes from something in physics?

Not sure if this is appropriate to Math Overflow, but I think there's some way to make this precise, even if I'm not sure how to do it myself.
Say I have a nasty ODE, nonlinear, maybe extremely ...

**25**

votes

**1**answer

819 views

### Solving a delay-differential equation related to epidemiology

For some inexplicable reason, I have recently been interested in epidemiology. One of the classical and simplistic models in epidemiology is the SIR model given by the following system of first-order ...

**24**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Codimension of the range of certain linear operators

Assume that $P(x,y), Q(x,y) \in \mathbb{R}[x,y]$ are two polynomials. We define a linear map
$D$ on $\mathbb{R}[x,y]$ with $D(U)=PU_{x}+QU_{y}$. In fact $D$ is the differential operator ...

**24**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### When does a modular form satisfy a differential equation with rational coefficients?

Given a modular form $f$ of weight $k$ for a congruence subgroup $\Gamma$, and a modular function $t$ with $t(i\infty)=0$, we can form a function $F$ such that $F(t(z))=f(z)$ (at least locally), and ...

**23**

votes

**11**answers

3k views

### What kind of Lagrangians can we have?

In any physics book I've read the Lagrangian is introuced as as a functional whose critical points govern the dynamics of the system. It is then usually shown that a finite collection of non-...

**23**

votes

**4**answers

4k views

### Is there any way to rewrite a partial differential equation using language of differential forms, tensors, etc?

My question is: usually, a partial differential equation, for example, those coming from physics, is written in a language of vector calculus in a local coordinate. Is there any way (or any algorithm) ...

**23**

votes

**5**answers

4k views

### Book Recommendation - PDE's for geometricians / topologists

I am looking for recommendations for a book on partial differential equations, which is not written for applied mathematicians but rather focused on geometry and applications in topology, as well as ...

**22**

votes

**0**answers

466 views

### Infinitely many planets on a line, with Newtonian gravity

(I previously asked essentially this on physics.stackexchange, but was actually
hoping for answers with something closer to a proof than what I got there.)
Suppose we have a unit mass planet at each ...

**21**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### Sheaves and Differential Equations

How do sheaves arise in studying solutions to ordinary differential equations?
EDIT: Is it possible to construct non-isomorphic sheaves on a domain $D \subset \mathbb{R}^n$ using solution sets to ...

**21**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### Is this 1974 claim still valid?

In G. F. Simmons' Differential Equations book (p.141), the following claim is made:
“... As a matter of fact, there is no known type of second order linear differential equation- apart from those with ...

**21**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### What are examples of D-modules that I should have in mind while learning the theory?

I've been reading about D-modules this summer in preparation for a learning seminar on intersection cohomology. Unfortunately, many of the ideas are not sticking while I learn about the theory. What ...

**21**

votes

**0**answers

555 views

### What is a Green's function in the language of $\mathcal{D}$-modules?

Let $P$ be an analytic linear differential operator defined on some open interval $X=(a,b)$ and $\mathcal{M}=\mathcal{D}_X / \mathcal{D}_X \bullet P$ the corresponding $\mathcal{D}$-module. I'm trying ...

**20**

votes

**1**answer

2k views

### Differential equation changing sign almost everywhere

Conjecture: Let $f:\mathbb{R}→\mathbb{R}$ be an everywhere differentiable function and assume that $f(x)+f′(x)∈ \{-1,1\}$ almost everywhere and $f'(0)=0$. Then is $f$ necessarily a constant function?
...

**20**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### What theorem of Liouville's is Gian-Carlo Rota referring to here?

I am very curious about this remark in Lesson Four of Rota's talk, Ten Lessons I Wish I Had Learned Before I Started Teaching Differential Equations:
"For second order linear differential ...

**20**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Intercept the missile

A stealth missile $M$ is launched from space station. You, at another space station far away, are trusted with the mission of intercepting $M$ using a single cruise missile $C$ at your disposal .
...

**19**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### How to prove Lambert's W function is not elementary?

Liouville's theorem gives such a proof for antiderivatives of functions like $e^x/x$ or $e^{x^2}$, and differential Galois theory extends that to Bessel functions, say. But what tools exist for ...

**18**

votes

**6**answers

5k views

### PDE on manifolds

I am currently in a PDE course where one of the requirements is to present a paper in PDE. I am wondering if anyone can suggest an early (read foundational, first introductory) paper talking about PDE ...

**18**

votes

**6**answers

7k views

### Can an integral equation always be rewritten as a differential equation?

Given an integral equation is there always a differential equation which has the same (say smooth) solutions?
It seems like not but can one prove this in some example?
Edit: Naively I'm hoping for ...

**18**

votes

**9**answers

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### Graduate ODE textbook

Suppose that a hypothetical math grad student was pretty comfortable with first-year real variables and algebra, and had even studied some other things (algebraic geometry, Riemannian geometry, ...

**18**

votes

**5**answers

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### Describing the universal covering map for the twice punctured complex plane

As is well known, the universal covering space of the punctured complex plane is the complex plane itself, and the cover is given by the exponential map.
In a sense, this shows that the logarithm has ...

**18**

votes

**1**answer

12k views

### A nonlinear first order ordinary differential equation: $y(t)^n+a(t)\frac{dy(t)}{dt}=ba(t)$

I am stuck on solving an apparently simple ODE. I have checked numerous texts, references, software packages and colleagues before posting this...
$$y(t)^n+a(t)\frac{dy(t)}{dt}=ba(t)$$
If the RHS ...

**18**

votes

**2**answers

2k views

### Big Picture: What is the connection of Malliavin calculus with differential geometry?

I know that Paul Malliavin was heavily influenced by ideas from differential geometry while developing his calculus on Wiener space. But what are the concrete analogies between both areas of ...

**17**

votes

**3**answers

2k views

### How do i solve this : $\displaystyle \ f'=e^{{f}^{-1}}$?

Let $f$ be a function such that :$f:\mathbb{R}\to \mathbb{R}$ and $f^{-1}$ is a compositional inverse of $f$. I would'd like to know how do I solve this class of differential equation : $$\...

**17**

votes

**4**answers

4k views

### ODE's without a Lipschitz condition

When teaching ODE's earlier this semester, one of my students asked the following question for which I didn't know the answer (and none of the textbooks I consulted seem to discuss it). It is ...

**17**

votes

**1**answer

897 views

### D-modules over algebraic curves VS differential Galois theory

Disclaimer: I know very little about both of the fields in question.
My question is pretty simple:
What's the relation between differential Galois theory and D-modules
over algebraic curves?
...

**17**

votes

**1**answer

845 views

### Vector field built from connection and metric

Consider a smooth finite-dimensional manifold $M$ with metric $g$ and connection $\nabla$. For some local coordinate system, denote by $g^{\alpha \beta}$ the inverse of the metric tensor and by $\...

**16**

votes

**3**answers

1k views

### I would like to have a counter example that Peano's theorem does not apply to spaces with infinite dimension

Does Peano's theorem apply to spaces with infinite dimension? Or is there a counterexample?
Here, Peano's theorem is:
Let $E$ be a space with finite dimension. Consider a point $(t_0,x_0) \in \Re \...

**16**

votes

**5**answers

2k views

### 2- and 3-body problems when gravity is not inverse-square

Suppose that gravity did not follow an inverse-square law, but was instead a central force diminishing
as $1/d^p$ for distance separation $d$ and some power $p$.
Two questions:
Presumably the 2-body ...

**16**

votes

**2**answers

1k views

### Getting a differential equation for a function from a functional equation of its Mellin transform

If $f$ is a locally integrable function then its Mellin transform
$\mathcal{M}[f]$ is defined by
$$ \mathcal{M}[f] (s) = \int_0^{\infty} x^{s - 1} f (x) dx . $$
This integral usually converges in a ...

**16**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### What braking strategy is most fuel-efficient?

You notice a stop-light ahead of you and it is currently red. You can't run the red light, so you will have to brake, but braking wastes energy and you want to be as fuel efficient as possible. What ...

**16**

votes

**1**answer

1k views

### Kontsevich's flow on the space of Poisson structures

In §5.3 of Kontsevich's Formality Conjecture he writes:
This (...) gives a remarkable vector field on the space of bi-vector fields on $\mathbf{R}^d$. The evolution with respect to the time $t$ is ...