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Why do we need boundary conditions in Physics? Its significance? 
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#1
Mar312, 05:48 AM

P: 19

Well as the topics says I need a clarification why do we need the so called boundary conditions?
I have seen it in electostatics, magnetostatics etc. I tried in many ways to get that stuff into my head, but its just only banging my head not getting into.. I really wana know what is that and what is its significance in physics? What is this continuous and discontinuous thing mentioned in boundary conditions? Thanks in Advance!! 


#2
Mar312, 06:08 AM

PF Gold
P: 6,360

It would be helpful if you would say how far along you are in math and physics. What level courses have you taken?



#3
Mar312, 07:04 AM

P: 330




#4
Mar312, 07:08 AM

P: 19

Why do we need boundary conditions in Physics? Its significance?
Hi,
I have just started doing graduation in physics. This is my first year. Electricity and magnetism is one of the papers. In mathematics I know Integration and Differentiation at basic level. Might be I could understand this stuff, If I get to know about continuity and discontinuity. Thanks 


#5
Mar312, 07:49 AM

P: 330




#6
Mar312, 12:18 PM

P: 235

Depends on what you mean by boundary conditions:
If you mean the boundary conditions, as in points of a defined value used to solve equations then they are required to find particular solutions to many PDEs in electromagnetics. Without the boundary conditions, there are an infinite number of solutions to the PDEs which isn't really that interesting. But given the boundary conditions, a unique solution can be obtained for the given boundary conditions (which is interesting). An example would be solving for voltage at all points in an area using Laplace's equation. Given the boundary conditions of the edges of that area, the voltage at all points within it can be found. If you are talking about boundary conditions as in the boundary between two areas of different dielectric permitivity (among other examples) then the ideas are important because it isn't immediately apparent what happens when the underlying conditions assumed in particular equations change. So a lot of effort is given to determining what happens on these boundaries. 


#7
Mar412, 08:55 AM

P: 19

Hi Thanks to All!!
phinds, gnurf, floid, for taking time to clarify my question? From your clarifications, I got where to head.... So far, according to my perceptions, boundary conditions are needed in electrostatics and magnetostatics as its laws were derived for closed paths and surfaces. And I believe to understand it clearly I need to go through some calculus. Hope I will get through this stuff! Thanks!! 


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