17calculus 17calculus
First Order Second Order Laplace Transforms Additional Topics Applications, Practice
Separation of Variables
Integrating Factors (Linear)
Exact Equations
Integrating Factors (Exact)
Constant Coefficients
Reduction of Order
Undetermined Coefficients
Variation of Parameters
Polynomial Coefficients
Cauchy-Euler Equations
Chebyshev Equations
Laplace Transforms
Unit Step Function
Unit Impulse Function
Square Wave
Shifting Theorems
Solve Initial Value Problems
Classify Differential Equations
Fourier Series
Slope Fields
Existence and Uniqueness
Boundary Value Problems
Euler's Method
Inhomogeneous ODE's
Partial Differential Equations
Linear Systems
Exponential Growth/Decay
Population Dynamics
Projectile Motion
Chemical Concentration
Fluids (Mixing)
Practice Problems
Practice Exam List
Exam A1
Exam A3
Exam B2

You CAN Ace Differential Equations

17calculus > differential equations > slope fields

Topics You Need To Understand For This Page

Differential Equations Alpha List


Related Topics and Links

external links you may find helpful

Here is a great wikibooks page explaining slope fields in more detail: WikiBooks - Slope Fields

Slope Fields

Alternate Name For Slope Fields - Direction Fields

Slope Fields are two dimensional representations of the slope of a differential equation. Here is an example of what a slope field looks like. The little lines all over the graph are what we call the slope field lines and they indicate the slope at those points. The three graphs are three possible solutions to the differential equation that was used to produce the slope field.

As you can probably tell from the graph, slope fields are best drawn by a computer. There are many online graphing sites out there. You can also use winplot to plot slope fields.

Here are couple of videos explaining slope fields and how to graph them. The first video is much better and more accurate than the second. So if you have time for only one, the first one is best to watch.

This first video is an indepth introduction to slope fields and a few other introductory topics. He does not actually solve any differential equations using regular techniques in this video. He spends time explaining the concept of differential equations, which is important to understand.

MIT OCW - slope fields

Here is another video that shows how to plot a slope field by hand. It is not the best video in the world but it has some good techniques. Make sure you read the comments we've written about the video before accepting everything that he does in this video. That said, this video is included to give you another perspective.

another perspective

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