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In contrast to the previous chapter, which studied lumped-parameter problems, this chapter deals with examples in which variables such as concentration and temperature vary with position—a characteristic of distributed-parameter problems. As shown in Fig. 1.1, distributed-parameter problems can generate ordinary differential equations (ODEs) or partial differential equations (PDEs). In this chapter, we will see how mathematical models for distributed-parameter problems are developed, but the numerical solution of ODEs and PDEs will be presented only in Chaps. 6 and 7, respectively.
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