The other method starts from the observed values of the periods, and establishes a differential equation from which these periods may be derived.

He also showed that every equation of an even degree must have at least one real quadratic factor, reduced the solution of linear differential equations to definite integrals, and furnished an elegant method by which the linear partial differential equation of the second order might be solved.

Monge's memoir just referred to gives the ordinary differential equation of the curves of curvature, and establishes the general theory in a very satisfactory manner; but the application to the interesting particular case of the ellipsoid was first made by him in a later paper in 1795.