It's my first week studying differential equations, and I would love some feedback regarding the following question:

A second order homogenous linear differential equation with constant coefficients has solution $cos x$. Which amongst the following functions have to also be solutions to our function?

$f_1(x) = \frac{cos x}{3}$

$f_2(x) = 1$

$f_3(x) = cos x · sin x$

$f_4(x) = 3 sin x - 2 cos x$

$f_5(x) = cos (x + 2)$

$f_6(x) = 0.5x^2 + sin x$

I have written down: 1, 4 and 5, as they are all versions of the same basic homogenous solution $y = e^{ax}(c_1cosbx+c_2sinbx)$. I am just worried I might be missing out on something, as often happens with these kinds of questions.

Many thanks

  • $\begingroup$ $a\ne0$ is not possible. $\endgroup$
    – user65203
    Jun 7, 2019 at 16:15

1 Answer 1


As a solution is $\cos x$, the characteristic polynomial has the roots $\pm i$, and the ODE must be


The general solution is thus

$$C\cos x+S\sin x$$

compatible with $1,4,5$.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .