Mathematica won't solve simple diff. eqn. system

*To*: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net*Subject*: [mg24699] Mathematica won't solve simple diff. eqn. system*From*: "Christopher R. Carlen" <crcarle at sandia.gov>*Date*: Fri, 4 Aug 2000 01:19:24 -0400 (EDT)*Organization*: Sandia National Laboratories*Sender*: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

Mathematica 4.0 and linear constant coefficient differential equations: I have the following system: -4 i1'[t] + 8 i2'[t] - 25 i1[t] + 20 i2[t] == 0 -4 i1'[t] + 8 i2'[t] - 10 i1[t] + 40 i2[t] == 0 i1[0]==0 i2[0]==0 Which when I try to solve with DSolve, it fails. It seems any system of the form: y1'[t] + y2'[t] + C1 y1[t] + C2 y2[t] == 0 y1'[t] + y2'[t] + C3 y1[t] + C4 y2[t] == 0 can't be solved. If the coefficients on y1' and y2' are not the same between the two equations, then it can be solved. The problem is that there is a solution to the above system, which I have verified. That solution is: i1[t_] = 4 + 64 E^(-5 t) - 68 E^(-4 t) i2[t_] = 1 - 52 E^(-5 t) + 51 E^(-4 t) So the question is: If there is a solution (and not a very difficult one) why can't Mathematica find it??? Is there some way to coerce Mathematica to produce the equation, in both the symbolic and numerical situations? These types of systems arise frequently in the study of electronic circuits. Numerical solvers like SPICE solve them without any difficulty. I have struggled with getting Mathematica to solve them for a long time. Sometimes I force a numerical solution by perturbing the coefficients a bit, as long as the error is acceptible. But I would like to understand better what the hangup is. I have had a diff. eqns. course, but haven't gone into systems yet. Thanks. -- _______________________ Christopher R. Carlen Sr. Laser/Optical Tech. Sandia National Labs