# Laplace Equation | Summary and Q&A

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May 6, 2016
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MIT OpenCourseWare
Laplace Equation

## TL;DR

Laplace's equation is a partial differential equation that describes steady-state conditions. Solutions of Laplace's equation can be represented by an infinite family of polynomials in the form of x + iy, which can be used to find the temperature inside a circular region.

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### Q: What is Laplace's equation and what does it describe?

Laplace's equation is a partial differential equation that describes steady-state conditions, involving second-order derivatives in both the x and y directions. It is commonly used to solve problems related to heat conduction and fluid flow.

### Q: How are solutions to Laplace's equation found in a circular region?

Solutions to Laplace's equation in a circular region can be obtained by representing them as an infinite family of polynomials in the form of x + iy. The real and imaginary parts of these polynomials are determined by the powers of n.

### Q: How are boundary values used to find solutions to Laplace's equation?

The boundary values on the circle are known, while the temperature inside the circle needs to be determined. By combining the infinite family of polynomial solutions and adjusting the coefficients, the boundary values can be matched to find the temperature inside the circle.

### Q: What is the role of Fourier series in solving Laplace's equation?

Fourier series are utilized to match the polynomial solutions to a specific given boundary value function. The A's and B's in the Fourier series represent the coefficients that need to be determined to accurately match the boundary conditions.

## Summary & Key Takeaways

• Laplace's equation is a partial differential equation that describes steady-state conditions and involves second-order derivatives in both the x and y directions.

• In the context of finding the temperature inside a circular region, the boundary values on the circle are known while the temperature inside needs to be determined.

• Solutions to Laplace's equation in a circular region can be represented by an infinite family of polynomials in the form of x + iy, where the real and imaginary parts are determined by the powers of n.