Many models of engineering systems involve the rate of change of a quantity. There is thus a need to incorporate derivatives into the mathematical model. These mathematical models are examples of differential equations .

Accompanying the differential equation will be one or more conditions that let us obtain a unique solution to a particular problem. Often we solve the differential equation first to obtain a general solution; then we apply the conditions to obtain the unique solution. It is important to know which conditions must be specified in order to obtain a unique solution.


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