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Solve y'' = xy

  1. Sep 26, 2012 #1

    FeDeX_LaTeX

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    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Solve the differential equation y'' = xy


    2. Relevant equations
    -


    3. The attempt at a solution
    Not too sure what to do here. I looked it up and apparently the solution to this is the Airy function, but I don't understand how they got there. Help would be appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2012 #2

    Mark44

    Staff: Mentor

    What techniques do you know for solving differential equations? I have a particular method in mind, but there are possibly others.
     
  4. Sep 26, 2012 #3

    FeDeX_LaTeX

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    Separation of variables and solving 1st and 2nd order DEs with constant co-efficients -- not sure what to do here though since the co-efficient of y isn't a constant. I've heard that you solve this with a Taylor series expansion but I don't know how to apply that here. I've studied doing it by finding roots of the auxiliary equation and Taylor series, but I'm unsure of how to use the Taylor series method for this equation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  5. Sep 26, 2012 #4

    FeDeX_LaTeX

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    You need boundary conditions to solve by method of Taylor series but I can't remember what they were. How would I approach this problem without knowing the boundary conditions (for the general case)?
     
  6. Sep 26, 2012 #5

    LCKurtz

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    You don't need boundary conditions. You will discover that you have no values for ##a_0## and ##a_1## and can get all the ##a##'s in terms of them. They will wind up being the two arbitrary constants.
     
  7. Sep 26, 2012 #6

    FeDeX_LaTeX

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    Never mind, solved it.
     
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