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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 17 Dynamics of Planar Media In this chapter, we continue our ascent of the dimensional ladder for linear systems. In Chapter 6, we embarked on our journey with equilibrium configurations of discrete systems massspring chains, circuits, and structures which are governed by certain linear algebraic systems. In Chapter 9, the dynamical behavior of such discrete systems was modeled by systems of linear ordinary differential equations. Chapter 11 began our treatment of continuous media with the boundary value problems that describe the equi libria of onedimensional bars, strings and beams. Their dynamical motions formed the topic of Chapter 14, in the simplest case leading to two fundamental partial differential equations: the heat equation describing thermal diffusion, and the wave equation model ing vibrations. In Chapters 15 and 16, we focussed our attention on the boundary value problems describing equilibria of planar bodies plates and membranes with primary emphasis on solving the ubiquitous Laplace equation, both analytically or numerically. We now turn to the analysis of their dynamics, as governed by the twodimensional forms of the heat and wave equations. The heat equation describes diffusion of, say, heat energy, or population, or pollutants in a homogeneous twodimensional domain. The wave equation models small vibrations of twodimensional membranes such as a drum. Although the increase in dimension does challenge our analytical prowess, we have, in fact, already mastered the key techniques: separation of variables and fundamental solu tions. (Disappointingly, conformal mappings are not particularly helpful in the dynamical universe.) When applied to partial differential equation in higher dimensions, separation of variables often leads to new ordinary differential equations, whose solutions are no longer elementary functions. These socalled special functions , which include the Bessel functions appearing in the present chapter, and the Legendre functions, spherical harmonics, and spherical Bessel functions in threedimensional problems, play a ubiquitous role in more advanced applications in physics, engineering and mathematics. Basic series solution tech niques for ordinary differential equations, and key properties of the most important classes of special functions, can be found in Appendix C In Appendix C, we collect together the required results about the most important classes of special functions, including a short presentation of the series approach for solving nonelementary ordinary differential equations. Throughout, dimension refers to the number of space variables. In Newtonian dynamics, the time dimension is accorded a separate status, which distinguishes dynamics from equilib rium. Of course, in the more complicated relativistic universe, time and space must be regarded on an equal footing, and the dimension count modified accordinagly....
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 Fall '09
 Olver
 Linear Systems

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