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Notes in Applied Mathematics: 1

# Notes in Applied Mathematics: 1

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Based on supplementary material provided in a class on ordinary differential equations
Based on supplementary material provided in a class on ordinary differential equations

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10/04/2012

Math 312 - Applied Math handout # 1
Vertical projectile motion with resistance proportional to speed
Consider Newton’s Second Law for vertical motion (with
y
measured upwards):
dvdt
mv
g
,
v
0
v
0
(1)Equation (1) can be solved using the integrating factor exp
kt
/
m
or by the method of undeterminedcoefficients (try both if you’ve taken an ODE class!); the latter is a little quicker, so I write
v
ce
kt
/
m
gm
and using the initial condition, we find that
c
gm
/
v
0
and so the speed of the ball is given by
v
v
0
gm
e
kt
/
m
gm
(2)Notice from this equation that the
terminal speed
v
is defined by
v
lim
v
gm
which, for a feather, snowflake or whiffle ball, is pretty much achieved before it hits the ground.Suppose however that we are really only interested in the altitude
y
as a function of time; OK – if theball is projected upward from
y
0 then
y
0
0. Hence from (2)
y
0

v
0
gm
e
ks
/
m
gm
ds
(3)where
s
is a dummy variable for
. Upon integrating we obtain
y
m
v
0
gm
e
ks
/
m
gms
|
s
0
s
m
v
0
gm

1
e
kt
/
m
gm
, 0
(4)where
is the time at which the ball hits the ground. Now for an interesting question: does the balltake longer to rise to its maximum height, or to fall back from that height? All I’m going to do hereis to graph
y
for various values of
/
m
and
v
0
, and then draw some conclusions.Choosing
/
m
6 s
1
and
v
0
5,10,15,20 m/s, with
g
9.8 m/s
2
we find for
v
0
5 m/s
y
1.1056
1
e
6
1.6333
the graph of which is the lowest of the four shown; the others get higher with increasing values of
v
0
as would be expected.Note that the graph below is
not
the path of the projectile.