# Calculus for Dummies?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by thingmaker3, Dec 16, 2005.

1. ### thingmaker3 Thread Starter Retired Moderator

May 16, 2005
5,072
6
I thought about posting this in "homework" but it is not school related - just hobby stuff...

Is there an easy way to solve second-order differential equations? Specifically, I would like to solve the equations found on this web page.

Can someone steer me toward a website explaining "erf" and "exp?"

My hope is to be able to graph carbon concentration versus depth for a given temperature, time, and starting carbon concentration.

Thank you.

Oct 14, 2005
1,198
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3. ### thingmaker3 Thread Starter Retired Moderator

May 16, 2005
5,072
6
Not making my own steel yet, though a buddy of mine is doing so.

I'm into blacksmithing and knife-making. Decarburisation of the steel during forging and heat treating is a concern with some steels and some procedures. I'm just looking for the boundries of the "ballpark."

Edit And thank you for those links! I will wade through them as best I can.

4. ### Dave Retired Moderator

Nov 17, 2003
6,960
145
You find the MathWorld site a little daunting to read, try: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Error_function

You may also want to do a search for "Error Function Tables", which will give the solution to erfc(x) for different values of x. Its a little easilr than wading through the calculus.

Exp is just the simple exponential function, defined as:

e^x = 1 + x + x^2/2! + x^3/3! + x^4/4! .........

And this is easily solved with many calculators.

Dave

5. ### thingmaker3 Thread Starter Retired Moderator

May 16, 2005
5,072
6
Sweet! Thanks Dave! Thirty seconds on Google was all it took to find an error function table!