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13

Integral equations

It is not unusual in the analysis of a physical system to encounter an equation in which an unknown but required function y(x), say, appears under an integral sign. Such an equation is called an integral equation, and in this chapter we discuss several methods for solving the more straightforward examples of such equations.

Before embarking on our discussion of methods for solving various integral equations, we begin with a warning that many of the integral equations met in practice cannot be solved by the elementary methods presented here but must instead be solved numerically, usually on a computer. Nevertheless, the regular occurrence of several simple types of integral equation that may be solved analytically is sufficient ...

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