Qualitative theory of differential equations

  • Martin Braun
Part of the Applied Mathematical Sciences book series (AMS, volume 15)


In this chapter we consider the differential equation
$$ \mathop{x}\limits^{\bullet } = {\text{f}}(t,{\text{x}}) $$
$$ {\text{x = }}\left[ {\begin{array}{*{20}{c}} {{x_{1}}(t)} \\ \vdots \\ {{x_{n}}(t)} \\ \end{array} } \right], $$
$$ {\text{f} ={t,x} }\left[ {\begin{array}{*{20}{c}} {{f_{1}}(t,{x_{1}},...,{x_{n}})} \\ \vdots \\ {{f_{n}}(t,{x_{1}},...,{x_{n}})} \\ \end{array} } \right] $$
is a nonlinear function of x 1,...,x n . Unfortunately, there are no known methods of solving Equation (1). This, of course, is very disappointing. However, it is not necessary, in most applications, to find the solutions of (1) explicitly. For example, let x 1(t) and x 2(t) denote the populations, at time t, of two species competing amongst themselves for the limited food and living space in their microcosm. Suppose, moreover, that the rates of growth of x 1(t) and x 2(t) are governed by the differential equation (1). In this case, we are not really interested in the values of x 1(t) and x 2(t) at every time r. Rather, we are interested in the qualitative properties of x 1(t) and x 2(t). Specically, we wish to answer the following questions.


Equilibrium Point Phase Portrait Bifurcation Point Equilibrium Solution Future Time 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Braun
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mathematics, Queens CollegeCity University of New YorkFlushingUSA

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