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An Introduction to Partial Differential Equations by Jacob Rubinstein, Yehuda Pinchover

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1

Introduction

1.1 Preliminaries

A partial differential equation (PDE) describes a relation between an unknown function and its partial derivatives. PDEs appear frequently in all areas of physics and engineering. Moreover, in recent years we have seen a dramatic increase in the use of PDEs in areas such as biology, chemistry, computer sciences (particularly in relation to image processing and graphics) and in economics (finance). In fact, in each area where there is an interaction between a number of independent variables, we attempt to define functions in these variables and to model a variety of processes by constructing equations for these functions. When the value of the unknown function(s) at a certain point depends only on what happens ...

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