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What is error function ?

  1. Jun 26, 2003 #1
    In heat transfer, some formulae are expressed in error function. what is it ?

    How do we get the equation for error function ?[?]
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 27, 2003 #2
    Isn't the error function e -x 2 ? Thats all I know....
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2003
  4. Jun 27, 2003 #3
    try this
  5. Jun 27, 2003 #4
    I've heard it's called imaginary error function in full.
  6. Jun 27, 2003 #5


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Almost... erf(x) is:

    erf(x) = (2 / sqrt(π)) ∫0..x e-x2 dx

    It's immediate use is that it's the integral of a gaussian distribution, so it's directly applicable to statistical problems.

    More generally, I understand that a lot of nonelementary functions can be expressed in terms of combinations of elementary functions and error functions, so erf expands the expressive power of closed forms.
  7. Jun 27, 2003 #6
    It comes up when solving some differential equations, and it is thus good to have tabulated.
  8. Jun 27, 2003 #7
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