In mathematics and physics, Laplace's equation is a second-order partial differential equation named after Pierre-Simon Laplace, who first studied its properties.
The general theory of solutions to Laplace's equation is known as potential theory. The twice continuously differentiable solutions of Laplace's equation are the harmonic functions, which are important in multiple branches of physics, notably electrostatics, gravitation, and fluid dynamics. In the study of heat conduction, the Laplace equation is the steady-state heat equation. In general, Laplace's equation describes situations of equilibrium, or those that do not depend explicitly on time.