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I am in the process of solving a finite elements problem involving obtaining deflection of a simple mass-spring-damper 2nd order ODE system with a defined forcing function. While going through my class notes, I came across the idea of the central difference method, which is defining the derivatives of functions as functions by a certain time interval.

I was researching into how to solve this problem, but I noticed that the majority cited "central difference method" as just the function itself, not an actual "method", involving procedures. However, I saw informations involving solving ODEs through a "finite difference method", which looked like it used equations derived from the central difference method.

I was wondering what is the exact difference between the two terms, and if it makes sense that finite difference method is a method using the equations from the central difference method?

Thanks.

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# Difference between Central Difference Method and Finite Difference Method

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