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Order of a Differential Equation

The number of the highest derivative in a differential equation. A differential equation of order 1 is called first order, order 2 second order, etc.

 

Example: The differential equation y" + xy' – x3y = sin x is second order since the highest derivative is y" or the second derivative.

 


  this page updated 21-feb-16
Mathwords: Terms and Formulas from Algebra I to Calculus
written, illustrated, and webmastered by Bruce Simmons
NCTM Web Bytes December 2004 Web Bytes March 2005 Web Bytes