Free course

Differential equations

Free statement of participation on completion

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.

NOTE: As part of a review of content, this course will be deleted from OpenLearn on 4 January 2019. It has been replaced in part by the new course Dynamics.

Course learning outcomes

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.

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If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.

Course content