THE application of mathematics to problems both of pure and applied science often leads to differential equations which have no formal solution in quadratures or in terms of tabulated functions, but for which numerical values of the solutions are required. Until recently, the only available methods for evaluating the solutions of such equations were graphical methods, which are rather limited in scope and accuracy, and numerical methods, which are lengthy and require continual concentrated attention on the part of the worker, and rapidly become more laborious the more elaborate the equations. So the development of a mechanical method, rapid, accurate, and applicable to a wide range of equations, is an advance of considerable importance, with applications to a wide range of problems of scientific and technical interest.
V. Bush, J. Franklin Inst., Oct. 1931, and “Proc. Internal. Congress on Applied Mechanics”, Cambridge, 1934.
Sir W. Thomson, Proc. Roy. Soc., 24, 269; 1876. NATURE, 135, 535; April 6, 1935.