When Laplace and Legendre began their investigations of mathematical physics, this was in a major way a research in differential equations. The Laplacean Δ(3) was dominant and the necessity to find many solutions of Δ(3)U = 0 led to the method of separation of variables, which reduced the three-dimensional problems to three intertwined one-dimensional problems.
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- Spherical Harmonics and Differential Equations
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