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This free course, Differential equations, extends the ideas introduced in the course on first-order differential equations to a particular type of second-order differential equations which has a variety of applications. The course assumes that you have previously had a basic grounding in calculus, know something about first-order differential equations and some familiarity with complex numbers.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- solve homogeneous second-order equations
- identify a general method for constructing solutions to inhomogeneous linear constant-coefficient second-order equations
- show an awareness of initial and boundary conditions to obtain particular values of constants in the general solution of second-order differential equations.
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
This course extends the ideas introduced in the course on first-order differential equations to a particular type of second-order differential equation which has a variety of applications. The course assumes that you have previously had a basic grounding in calculus, know something about first-order differential equations and have some familiarity with complex numbers.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 2 study in.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Mathematics Education courses or view the range of currently available OU Mathematics Education courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Monday, 13th June 2011
Last updated on: Tuesday, 23rd February 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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