IVPs with Piecewise Coefficients
The differential equations that arise in modern applications often have discontinuous coefficients. DSolve can handle a wide variety of such ODEs with piecewise coefficients. Some of the functions used in these equations are UnitStep, Max, Min, Sign, and Abs. These functions and combinations of them can be converted into Piecewise objects.
A piecewise ODE can be thought of as a collection of ODEs over disjoint intervals such that the expressions for the coefficients and the boundary conditions change from one interval to another. Thus, different intervals have different solutions, and the final solution for the ODE is obtained by patching together the solutions over the different intervals.
If there are a large number of discontinuities in a problem, it is convenient to use Piecewise directly in the formulation of the problem.