Differential Equation on the HP 50g
Chapter 16 of the HP 50g User's Guide has a fairly complete set of instructions for using the calculator to solve differential equations. Those instructions are intended for experts who know the theory and are only interested in obtaining answers. This series of lessons is intended for students in an undergraduate course in differential equations. The procedures discussed here are only for those types of differential equations that are typically encountered in such a course, and are presented in a way that is intended to help with understanding the theories encountered in such a course.
These lessons assume the reader is familiar with the general operation of the HP 50g. If you are new to this calculator you may find it useful to first go through the lessons in HP-50g Calculator Tutorial. Throughout these lessons you will see references to things like CTL 17. This tells you that you may find something helpful in HP-50g Calculator Tutorial Lesson 17. If you find yourself going to these lesson very frequently it may be helpful to open HP-50g Calculator Tutorial in a second instance of your browser to make jumping back and forth easier.
Some of the examples in these lessons are based on examples and problems from Differential Equations, A First Course by Guterman and Nitecki and are used with permission of the authors. The original text is now out of print, but several chapters are still available at Indo American Books.
To understand the theory behind some of the solutions in Lesson 4 and Lessons 5 requires some knowledge of complex numbers, particularly Euler's Formula. For those wishing to revue that material, we recommend Complex Numbers and Trigonometry
These lessons are in PDF format and require the Acrobat Reader which is available free form Adobe.
Last Modified: August 1, 2011
If you have comments, questions, or corrections regarding this material please contact the author, Merv Newton©Copyright: Mervin E. Newton, 2011