In mathematics, a **differential equation** is an equation in which the derivatives of a function appear as variables. Differential equations form the basic language of physics.

Differential equations are divided into two types:

Differential equations are used to construct mathematical models of physical phenomena such as fluid dynamics or celestial mechanics. Therefore, the study of differential equations is a wide field in both pure and applied mathematics.

Differential equations have intrinsically interesting properties such as whether or not solutions exist, and should solutions exist, whether those solutions are unique. Applied mathematicians, physicists and engineers are usually more interested in how to compute solutions to differential equations. These solutions are then used to design bridges, automobiles, aircraft, sewers, etc.

## External links

- Polyanin, Andrei:
*EqWorld: World of Mathematical Equations*. An online resource focusing on ordinary differential, partial differential (mathematical physics), integral, and other mathematical equations.

Last updated: 06-01-2005 23:11:58