The methods in the previous sections provide asymptotic approximations for functions defined by integrals. Many of these functions are solutions of specific differential equations: the Bessel function is an example. In the case of functions defined as the solutions of differential equations which cannot be solved explicitly, these integral methods described above naturally cannot be used. (We group in the class of explicit solutions those given in the form of an integral.) In these circumstances we must resort to differential equation methods to find asymptotic approximations for the functions. The subject of asymptotic methods for solving differential equations is large. In this and the following sections we give a brief introduction to the subject. In the case of ordinary differential equations the book by Wasow (1965) discusses several aspects with detail and rigour. A large part of each of the books by Erdelyi (1956) and Jeffreys (1966) is devoted to ordinary differential equations. In the partial differential equation area the books by Van Dyke (1964) and Cole (1968)† are of importance in the particular area of asymptotic analysis called singular perturbation theory.
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