Solution Techniques for Elementary Partial Differential Equations: 3rd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Solution Techniques for Elementary Partial Differential Equations

3rd Edition

By Christian Constanda

Chapman and Hall/CRC

358 pages | 56 B/W Illus.

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Solution Techniques for Elementary Partial Differential Equations, Third Edition remains a top choice for a standard, undergraduate-level course on partial differential equations (PDEs). Making the text even more user-friendly, this third edition covers important and widely used methods for solving PDEs.

New to the Third Edition

  • New sections on the series expansion of more general functions, other problems of general second-order linear equations, vibrating string with other types of boundary conditions, and equilibrium temperature in an infinite strip
  • Reorganized sections that make it easier for students and professors to navigate the contents
  • Rearranged exercises that are now at the end of each section/subsection instead of at the end of the chapter
  • New and improved exercises and worked examples
  • A brief Mathematica® program for nearly all of the worked examples, showing students how to verify results by computer

This bestselling, highly praised textbook uses a streamlined, direct approach to develop students’ competence in solving PDEs. It offers concise, easily understood explanations and worked examples that allow students to see the techniques in action.


"The author, a skilled classroom performer with considerable experience, understands exactly what students want and has given them just that: a textbook that explains the essence of the method briefly and then proceeds to show it in action. … A new and very helpful element added to the third edition is the insertion of Mathematica® software code at the end of each worked example, which shows how the computed solution to a problem can be verified by computer. The distribution of the exercises to each relevant section and subsection instead of having them bunched up together at the end of the chapter is also a welcome development. In my opinion, this is quite simply the best book of its kind that I have seen thus far. The book not only contains solution methods for some very important classes of PDEs, in an easy-to-read format, but is also student-friendly and teacher-friendly at the same time. It is definitely a textbook for adoption."

—From the Foreword by Professor Peter Schiavone, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

Praise for the Second Edition:

"… an interesting read. … Some of the worked-out examples cover not only the conventional topics of heat and wave problems but also applications to a wide variety of fields, from stock markets to Brownian motion. … Each chapter has many problems for practice, with solutions for some of them provided at the very end. The book is well written, concise, has adequate examples and can be used as a textbook for beginners to learn the techniques of PDE solvers."

MAA Reviews, January 2011

"This concise, well-written book, which includes a profusion of worked examples and exercises, serves both as an excellent text in undergraduate and graduate learning and as a useful presentation of solution techniques for researchers and engineers interested in applying partial differential equations to real-life problems."

—Barbara Zubik-Kowal, Boise State University, Idaho, USA

Praise for the First Edition:

"The book contains a large number of worked examples and exercises. … Useful for the … student who might be interested … in learning the manipulating skills of solution methods of first- and second-order partial differential equations."

Zentralblatt MATH, 1042

Winner of a 2002 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award

"… an easy-to-read and straight-to-the-point book for all those who want to familiarize themselves with concepts and solution techniques for partial differential equations … A writing style special to this author is the complete departure from the arid theorem-proof approach to PDEs. Abstract concepts are carefully explained and supported with a wealth of remarks, application-oriented illustrations, and a wonderful collection of problems, a few elementary enough for any beginner. On the whole, the material is very well presented; this is one of the best books on elementary PDEs this reviewer has read so far. Highly recommended."

CHOICE, October 2002

"… successfully addresses a difficult problem of undergraduate teaching: how to make students understand and become adept at using a class of practical tools that are essential in the study of many mathematical models … clear, concise, and easy to read—places the emphasis on worked examples and exercises … . Someone who needs a book that goes straight to the point and shows what partial differential equations are and how they can be solved, should find this textbook to be one of the best suited for the purpose."

—Barbara Bertram, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, USA

"… an invaluable resource. … The fact that no computing devices are needed to work through this text is a distinct advantage … an ideal tool for students taking a first course in PDEs, as well as for the lecturers who teach such courses."

—Marian Aron, Plymouth University, UK

Table of Contents

Ordinary Differential Equations: Brief Revision

First-Order Equations

Homogeneous Linear Equations with Constant Coefficients

Nonhomogeneous Linear Equations with Constant Coefficients

Cauchy–Euler Equations

Functions and Operators

Fourier Series

The Full Fourier Series

Fourier Sine and Cosine Series

Convergence and Differentiation

Series Expansion of More General Functions

Sturm–Liouville Problems

Regular Sturm–Liouville Problems

Other Problems

Bessel Functions

Legendre Polynomials

Spherical Harmonics

Some Fundamental Equations of Mathematical Physics

The Heat Equation

The Laplace Equation

The Wave Equation

Other Equations

The Method of Separation of Variables

The Heat Equation

The Wave Equation

The Laplace Equation

Other Equations

Equations with More Than Two Variables

Linear Nonhomogeneous Problems

Equilibrium Solutions

Nonhomogeneous Problems

The Method of Eigenfunction Expansion

The Nonhomogeneous Heat Equation

The Nonhomogeneous Wave Equation

The Nonhomogeneous Laplace Equation

Other Nonhomogeneous Equations

The Fourier Transformations

The Full Fourier Transformation

The Fourier Sine and Cosine Transformations

Other Applications

The Laplace Transformation

Definition and Properties


The Method of Green’s Functions

The Heat Equation

The Laplace Equation

The Wave Equation

General Second-Order Linear Equations

The Canonical Form

Hyperbolic Equations

Parabolic Equations

Elliptic Equations

Other Problems

The Method of Characteristics

First-Order Linear Equations

First-Order Quasilinear Equations

The One-Dimensional Wave Equation

Other Hyperbolic Equations

Perturbation and Asymptotic Methods

Asymptotic Series

Regular Perturbation Problems

Singular Perturbation Problems

Complex Variable Methods

Elliptic Equations

Systems of Equations


Further Reading


About the Author

Christian Constanda, MS, PhD, DSc, is the Charles W. Oliphant Endowed Chair in Mathematical Sciences and director of the Center for Boundary Integral Methods at the University of Tulsa. He is also an emeritus professor at the University of Strathclyde and chairman of the International Consortium on Integral Methods in Science and Engineering. He is the author/editor of more than 28 books and more than 130 journal papers. His research interests include boundary value problems for elastic plates with transverse shear deformation, direct and indirect integral equation methods for elliptic problems and time-dependent problems, and variational methods in elasticity.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MATHEMATICS / Differential Equations