• Length:
    10 Weeks
  • Effort:
    3–6 hours per week
  • Price:

    FREE
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  • Institution
  • Subject:
  • Level:
    Intermediate
  • Language:
    English
  • Video Transcript:
    English

Associated Programs:

About this course

Skip About this course

This course is about the Laplace Transform, a single very powerful tool for understanding the behavior of a wide range of mechanical and electrical systems: from helicopters to skyscrapers, from light bulbs to cell phones. This tool captures the behavior of the system and displays it in highly graphical form that is used every day by engineers to design complex systems.

This course is centered on the concept of the transfer function of a system. Also called the system function, the transfer function completely describes the response of a system to any input signal in a highly conceptual manner. This visualization occurs not in the time domain, where we normally observe behavior of systems, but rather in the “frequency domain.” We need a device for moving from the time domain to the frequency domain; this is the Laplace transform.

We will illustrate these principles using concrete mechanical and electrical systems such as tuned mass dampers and RLC circuits.

The five modules in this series are being offered as an XSeries on edX. Please visit the Differential Equations XSeries Program Page to learn more and to enroll in the modules.

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn

You’ll learn how to:

  • Pass back and forth between the time domain and the frequency domain using the Laplace Transform and its inverse.
  • Use a toolbox for computing with the Laplace Transform.
  • Describe the behavior of systems using the pole diagram of the transfer function.
  • Model for systems that have feedback loops.
  • Model sudden changes with delta functions and other generalized functions.
  • Review of differential equations
  • System function and frequency response
  • Laplace Transform
  • Rules and applications
  • Impulses and impulse response
  • Convolution
  • Feedback and filters

Meet your instructors

Haynes Miller
Professor of Mathematics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Jeremy Orloff
Lecturer
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Jennifer French
Lecturer & Digital Learning Scientist
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Kristin Kurianski
Postdoctoral Associate
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. EdX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.