1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data I'm currently taking a course on ordinary differential equations. I am now reading through the lecture slides but I'm not really sure about the " factorising the equation " part onwards: 2. Relevant equations 3. The attempt at a solution I'm not sure what is the point of trying to factorize the differential equation and how the CF is made up of exponentials.. Secondly, how did they simply decide that x*emx gives an independent solution? Why not x2emx then?