# difference in differential and partial differential

by bassplayer142
Tags: difference, differential, partial
 P: 422 How much of a difference is there in between partial and regular differential equations. I took differentials but not the partial and I was wondering how much this restricts understanding in physics. Our physics class doesn't solve the differential equations (though some I can). Does normal first order and higher order techniques work. (cauchy euler, substitution, integrating factor)...
 P: 813 Well, an obvious difference is usually differential equations have a finite number of states while partial differential equations have an infinite number of states.
 P: 422 That makes sense to me. I'm really interested in the mathmatical techniques to solve them. But what you said does make sense.
P: 813

## difference in differential and partial differential

Well, the wave equation can be solved via separation of variables:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separab...ntial_equation
http://www.math.ubc.ca/~feldman/m267/separation.pdf
 P: 422 Can all equations be solved using regular diffeq if and only if the derivative is only of one variable. Say that there isn't two seperate variables being differentiated?
 P: 813 There are conditions that must be satisfied for the existence of differential equations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picard-...C3%B6f_theorem Now if a solution exists, solving it is another matter. Some systems such as discrete systems are more practical to represented in terms of difference equations then differential equations.

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