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Solving PDE; novice question

From: John B. Thoo
Subject: Solving PDE; novice question
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2009 21:58:22 -0700

Hello, everyone.

I've had Octave loaded on my PowerBook for a long time (v. 2.1.73) and have used it *very* lightly for very simple things, mostly to obtain simple plots. Now I have a good reason to upgrade Octave and learn to use it better: I need to solve a PDE. Henry Mollet sent me instructions on upgrading to v. 3.x some time ago and I've kept those instructions, so I can upgrade. (Thanks, Henry!) :-)

Now my questions. The questions are about Octave, but please note that I don't have any experience with numerics or coding at all, so please be gentle.

1)  Can Octave be used to solve an equation like this:

  u_{tt}(x,t) - C * u_{xx}(x,t)
  = B * \int_{-infty}^{+\infty} K(x-y,y) * u(x-y,t) * u(y,t) dy,

where  B, C  are constants and  K  is some kernel.

2) If the answer is yes, then where should I look in the documentation (or elsewhere) to learn (in baby steps) how to solve such an equation eventually? (I think one good step along the way, after some initial baby steps solving some baby equations, would be to solve the inviscid Burgers equation:

  u_t + u*u_x = 0,  u = u(x,t).)

Thanks for your help.


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