# Matrix differential equation with DSolve doesn't work

I'm trying to solve matrix differential equation with DSolve, but I got an error.

L = 1 - t;
f1 = Integrate[1/(1 - u)^2, {u, 0, t}];
d = Table[If[k == n, 0, ((k*n)/(k^2 - n^2))*
Exp[I*Pi^2*(k^2 - n^2)*f1]], {k, 4}, {n, 4}];
g = D[L, t]/L;
B[t_] = {b1[t], b2[t], b3[t], b4[t]};

sol = DSolve[B'[t] ==- 2 g d.B[t], B[t], t]


The error :

DSolve::nolist: List encountered within {ConditionalExpression[(b1^\[Prime])[t]==(2 (-(2/3) E^(3 I Power[<<2>>] Power[<<2>>] t) b2[t]-3/8 E^(8 <<3>> t) b3[t]-4/15 E^(15 I <<1>> Power[<<2>>] t) b4[t]))/(1-t),Re[t]<=1||t\[NotElement]\[DoubleStruckCapitalR]],ConditionalExpression[(b2^\[Prime])[t]==(2 (<<1>>))/(1-t),Re[t]<=1||t\[NotElement]\[DoubleStruckCapitalR]],<<21>>[<<1>>==<<1>>,<<1>>],ConditionalExpression[(b4^\[Prime])[t]==(2 (<<1>>))/(1-t),Re[t]<=1||t\[NotElement]\[DoubleStruckCapitalR]]}. There should be no lists on either side of the equations.


I have tried this procedure on solving simpler matrix differential equation of the same format and it worked :

a = {{1, 2}, {3, 4}};
X[t_] = {x1[t], x2[t]};
sol = DSolve[X'[t] == a.X[t], X[t], t]


Output :

{{x1[t] -> -(1/22) E^((5 t)/2 - (Sqrt[33] t)/
2) (-11 - Sqrt[33] - 11 E^(Sqrt[33] t) +
Sqrt[33] E^(Sqrt[33] t)) C[1] + (
2 E^((5 t)/2 - (Sqrt[33] t)/2) (-1 + E^(Sqrt[33] t)) C[2])/Sqrt[
33],
x2[t] -> Sqrt[3/11] E^((5 t)/2 - (Sqrt[33] t)/2) (-1 + E^(Sqrt[33] t)) C[
1] + 1/22 E^((5 t)/2 - (Sqrt[33] t)/
2) (11 - Sqrt[33] + 11 E^(Sqrt[33] t) +
Sqrt[33] E^(Sqrt[33] t)) C[2]}}

• Consider switching away from If (which is really more appropriate for program flow control) to Piecewise or Boole in your conditional definitions. Commented Oct 4, 2021 at 14:57

DSolve can't solve the system. It has complex numbers. You can try NDSolve

First we try DSolve

ClearAll[u, t, B, b, k, n];
L = 1 - t;
f1 = Integrate[1/(1 - u)^2, {u, 0, t}, GenerateConditions -> False];
d = Table[
If[k == n, 0, ((k*n)/(k^2 - n^2))*Exp[I*Pi^2*(k^2 - n^2)*f1]], {k,
4}, {n, 4}];
g = D[L, t]/L;
B[t_] := {b1[t], b2[t], b3[t], b4[t]};
odeSys = MapThread[Equal, {B'[t], -2 g d . B[t]}]


Now

sol = DSolve[odeSys, B[t], t]


Returns after few second unevaluated. No errors or warnings generated. It just can't be solved analytically.

Try numerically. But need some IC. So made up some random ones

deps = {b1, b2, b3, b4};
ic = MapThread[Equal, {B[t] /. t -> 0, {0, 1, 0, 1}}]


Now

sol = NDSolve[{odeSys, ic}, deps, {t, 0, .9}]


But solution is complex

 Evaluate[b1[t] /. sol] /. t -> .5


So you can plot the real part and the imaginary part separately

Plot[Evaluate[Im@Evaluate[B[t] /. sol]], {t, 0, .9}]


Plot[Evaluate[Re@Evaluate[B[t] /. sol]], {t, 0, .9}]


Or

 Plot[Evaluate[Abs@Evaluate[B[t] /. sol]], {t, 0, .9}]


or can use ReImPlot

ReImPlot[Evaluate[Evaluate[B[t] /. sol]], {t, 0, .9},
PlotLegends -> deps]


• Thanks a lot man! 1 question, what is the significance of deps? I tried replacing all the deps with B[t] as saw no difference. Commented Oct 5, 2021 at 5:36
• Oh and 1 more thing. If B[t] contains a lot of elements (e.g. 100), is there a quick way to write its elements instead of writing B[t_]={b1[t],b2[t],b3[t],....}? Commented Oct 5, 2021 at 5:43
• @ForacleFunacle  what is the significance of deps normally for NDSolve it is better to use just b instead of b[t] for the dependent variable. It makes things little easier to post process. But both will work. For DSolve I use b[t] and not b. See help on NDSolve. This is how they do the examples. So deps was just a lazy way remove the t, that is all. Commented Oct 5, 2021 at 5:58
• @ForacleFunacle If B[t] contains a lot of elements (e.g. 100), is there a quick way to write its elements  you can try B[t_] = Table[ToExpression["b" <> ToString[n] <> "[t]"], {n, 100}] Commented Oct 5, 2021 at 6:00