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IM DOING AN ENGINNERING DEGREE AND NEED AN ANSWER, MUCH APPRECIATED
WHAT IS SECOND ORDER?
THIS IS RESPECT TO CONTROL ENGINEERING
- DANIEL EUSTACE (age 18)
ALTON COLLEGE, ENGLAND
The phrase 'second order' actually has a number of different
meanings, even with respect to just control engineering. Most of these
meanings have to do with math...
For example, in your high school algebra class, you probably
learned about 'second order polynomials.' These are equations like x^2
+ 7x + 9, or 6x^2 - 3x + 4. The reason that these equations are called
second order is because the highest power of x in the equation is x^2.
If you had a term with x^3, then it would be third order instead.
Another example is one that you'll probably see in your
differential equations class. 'Second order derivative' is just another
way of saying 'second derivative'. And in a 'second order differential
equation', the order of the highest derivative in the equation is 2.
That is, you'll have a second derivative in there someplace and maybe
even a single derivative, but no third or forth (or higher)
(republished on 07/18/06)
Follow-up on this answer.