A question asks us to solve the differential equation −u(x)=δ(x) with boundary conditions u(−2)=0 and...

tearstreakdl

tearstreakdl

Answered

2022-01-15

A question asks us to solve the differential equation
u(x)=δ(x)
with boundary conditions
u(2)=0 and u(3)=0 where δ(x) is the Dirac delta function. But inside the same question, teacher gives the solution in two pieces as u=A(x+2) for x0 and u=B(x3) for x0. I understand when we integrate the delta function twice the result is the ramp function R(x). However elsewhere in his lecture the teacher had given the general solution of that DE as
u(x)=R(x)+C+Dx

Answer & Explanation

Dawn Neal

Dawn Neal

Expert

2022-01-16Added 35 answers

What you call the Dirac delta function (which is not a function, at least not in the sense of a function from R to R) is a strange object but something about it is clear:
We will not use anything else about the Dirac δ.
If one also asks that yzu(x)dx=u(z)u(y) for every yz, one can integrate once your equation u=δ, getting that there exists a such that
u(x)=a[x0].
Using the facts that yzu(x)dx should be u(z)u(y) for every yz, and the value of yz[x0]dx, one gets that for every fixed negative number x0,
u(x)=u(x0)+a(xx0)x[x0].
This means that b=u(x0)ax0 does not depend on x0<0, hence finally, for every x in R,
u(x)=ax+bx[x0].
(And, in the present case, the condition that u(2)=u(3)=0 imposes that a=35 and b=65.)
This is the general solution of the equation u=δ. Note that every solution u is C on R\0 but only C0 at 0 hence u' and u'' do not exist in the rigorous sense usually meant in mathematics. Note finally that u is also
u(x)=ax+bx[x>0].
lalilulelo2k3eq

lalilulelo2k3eq

Expert

2022-01-17Added 38 answers

Both describe the same type of function. The ramp function is nothing but
R(x)={0x0xx0
If you use the general solution and plug in the same boundary conditions,
u(2)=R(2)+C2D=C2D=0
u(3)=R(3)+C+3D=3+C+3D=0
with the solution C=65,D=35, and then split it at x=0 to get rid of the ramp function and you obtain;
u(x)={65+35xx0x+65+35x=6525xx0
which is exactly the same expression you got by splitting the function earlier (pratically, there is no difference, but its shorter when written with the ramp function).

alenahelenash

alenahelenash

Expert

2022-01-24Added 366 answers

I guess now I understand why and how the teacher came up with the two pieces. Since the form of the solution u(x) is known (it is linear) and because of the presence of the ramp function, one could conclude two pieces could be in the form of A(x+2) and B(x3) because both these functions are zero at the boundaries left and right respectively. About the why: Then he can use simpler integration and derivation:u(x)=δ(x)[u(x)]LR=1uR(x)uL(x)=1Since we know the pieces, and they are in pretty simple form we can apply the derivatives above and substituteBA=1The pieces meet at x=0, and we know that due to the ramp function, continuingA(0+2)=B(03)A=32BCombiningB(3/2B)=1B=0.4A=0.6

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