Griggs Hutaff Griggs Hutaff - 1 month ago 15
Python Question

How does this user-defined function work with scipy integrate odeint?

I am working on a project for electrical engineering where we plot the voltage over a capacitor in a RLC circuit as a function of time. I based my code on the following tutorial: Python-ODE for RLC Circuit. My code is fully functional but I just want a better understanding of how the user defined function and the SciPy integrating function works. I have read the documentation but I still have some specific questions. Here is my code:

from scipy.integrate import odeint # for integrating ode
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt # for plotting commands
import numpy as np #For loadtxt and linspace modules

R,L,C,tl,numplot = np.loadtxt('UserInput_RLC_Values.txt',unpack=True)

def RLC(A,t):
V = 2.0 #voltageSource
return res

time = np.linspace(0.0,tl,numplot)
vc,m = odeint(RLC,[0.0,0.0],time).T

Here are my questions:

  1. What role are the parameter values A and t playing in the function RLC? Why is A assigned to both Vc (capacitor voltage) and m (dummy variable for v')? Is t even used?

  2. When I call RLC function inside the odeint module why aren't there any parameters?

  3. What does the .T at the end of the odeint module mean? I can't find anything about it in documentation.

Thanks for any insight on this. I hope this isn't a lazy question but I think fully understanding this will help me a great deal.


The ODE function passed to odeint needs to have the format f(state, time) where time is the independent variable and state the state vector. The corresponding (vector-valued) differential equation is y'(t)=f(y(t),t)

  1. ) For the standard ODE solvers you need to convert higher-order equations into systems of first order. Here using m as momentum (?) variable, m = dVc/dt. Then dm/dt = d²Vc/dt² is the second derivative.

    If the input is state = [ Vc, m ] the output needs to be [ dVc/dt, dm/dt ] = [ m, Eqn(t,Vc,m) ] where d²Vc/dt² = Eqn(t,Vc,dVc/dt) is a form of the original equation.

    t just needs to be present in the argument list, even if the ODE is time-invariant.

  2. ) You are passing the function as reference/address, not a function value

  3. ) It means "transpose". The result of odeint is a list of state vectors, which are pairs of numbers. Transposing it transforms it into a pair of lists that can be assigned to a pair of variables.