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We now look at three main types of question which involve the applications of ﬁrst order diﬀerential equations, namely (i)Heating and Cooling (ii) Mixing problems, and (iii) Falling objects We will discuss and look at an example of each type of problem. Heating and Cooling Problems For these types of problems we will be assuming that the question involves the temperature (T )of a certain body placed in a medium of constant temperature (M) and as time (t) varies, so does T , ( so T has a rate of change with respect to t). In this case Newtons law of cooling tells us the following:

dT dt

= k(T − M) for some constant k

Another way of saying this is that the time rate of change of temperature of the body is proportional to the diﬀerence in temperatures of the body and the medium in which it is placed. This law is the source of a popular misconception, namely that when placed in a freezer, warm water will freeze into ice cubes faster than cold water. This is not true (of course) but what is true is that the ”rate of change” of temperature of the warm water is much faster than that of the cold water since the diﬀerence in temperature ( between the water and freezer) is much greater for the warm water. Thus the warm water will cool at a much faster rate, but the cold water will still freeze sooner.

1

t minutes after it is placed on the table. Solution: (a) We are asked to ﬁnd an explicit formula for T in terms of t. we know that T = 100whent = 0. (b) Determine how long it will take for the solution to cool to 22◦ C. The solution cooled to 60◦ C after ﬁve minutes. We know this is a heating and cooling question so Newtons law of cooling tells us dT dt = k(T − M) for some constant k So letting M=20. we have: dT dt = k(T − 20) for some constant k Recognizing this as a seperable diﬀerential equation: 1 1 dT = k(dt) ⇒ dT = k(dt) T −20 T −20 ⇒ ln(T − 20) = kt + C ⇒ eln(T −20) = ekt+C ⇒ T − 20 = ekt eC ⇒ T = ekt eC + 20 Since the initial temperature of the solution was 100◦ C. T = 60 we have: 60 = 80e5k + 20 ⇒ e5k = so k ≈ −0.Example 1. when t = 5). A boiling (100◦ C) solution is set on a table where room temperature is assumed to be constant at 20◦ C. so the last line above gives: 100 = e0k eC + 20 ⇒ eC = 80 So we now have: T = 80ekt + 20 (*) Now using the fact that after 5 minutes ( i. (a) Find a formula for the temperature (T ) of the solution. 013863 2 1 1 1 1 ⇒ 5k = ln( ) ⇒ k = ln( ) 2 2 5 2 .e.

013863t + 20 Which is the required formula for T .Substituting this into (*). Input rate y=y(t) Output rate Figure 1: Mixing Problem The diﬀerential equation involved here arises from the following natural relationship: 3 . 013863t ⇒ t ≈ 26.013863t 1 ⇒ ln( 40 ) = −0.013863t 2 ⇒ 80 = e−0. we then have: T = 80e−0.013863t + 20 ⇒ 2 = 80e−0. We shall always reserve y = y(t) to denote the amount of substance in the tank at any given time t ( see ﬁgure 1). and the substance will hr lb leave the system at a certain output rate ( once again measured in KG or min hr or something of the like).6 Mixing Problems All mixing problems ( see diagram below )we will be dealing with will involve a ”tank” into which a certain substance will be added at a certain input lb rate (measured in KG or min or something of the like). (b) We wish to ﬁnd out what t is when T is 22. We use the formula we just found in part (a): 22 = 80e−0.

000 l 80 l/min Figure 2: 4 . and the other valve allows the solution in the tank to be drained at 80 litres per minute. and so we let y(t) be the number if kilograms of ﬂuoride in the tank at time t. (a) Find an expression for the amount (in KG) of ﬂuoride in the water tower after t minutes and (b) Find how long it takes for the concentration to come to a level of .05 KG . one allowing a solution af water and ﬂuoride with a concentration of 0. Assuming that the solution is mixed constantly so that we have a homogeneous ﬂuid in the tank.(output rate) Solving the above equation allows us to solve for the value of y at any time t. Initially a water tower contains 1 million litres of pure water.1KG of ﬂuoride per litre of water to ﬂow into the system at a rate of 80 litres per minute. and use the diﬀerential equation: dy dt = (input rate) .(output rate) 80 l/min 1. Two valves are then opened.000. l Solution: Looking at the question we see that it is clearly a mixing problem. Example 2.dy dt = (input rate) .

00008t 8e0. the general solution is given by: 1 Φ(x) q(x)Φ(x)dx Here we recognize that p(x) = 0.00008. Input rate: We have 80 litres per minute entering the system and each litre contains 0. so solving for the integrating factor Φ(x) = e . therefore in any one minute we have y (80)( 1000000 )KG of ﬂuoride leaving the tank.00008t dt 8 = e−0. so Input rate = 8 Output rate:The entire system contains y KG of ﬂuoride at any given time distributed throughout the one million litres in the tank.1) = 8 KG of ﬂuoride entering the tank. therefore in any one minute we have (80)(0.We must now solve for both the input and output rate.00008t .00008t + C] = 100000 + Ce−0. Substituting these into the above formula.00008t We are told that in the beginning the tower held pure water. so each litre cony tains 1000000 KG of ﬂuoride at any given moment of time. and q(x) = 8. dy + 0.00008y = 8 dt Recall that given a linear diﬀerential equation dy dx + p(x)y = q(x) p(x)dx with integrating factor Φ(x) = e y= . so y Output rate = (8)( 100000 ) Substituting into our formula we get: dy dt y = 8 − (8)( 100000 ) In order to solve the above diﬀerential equation we recognize it as a linear equation.00008t =e [100000e0. We have 80 litres per minute leaving the system.00008 e0.00008t . we get: y = e−0.1KG of ﬂuoride.00008dt = e0. Substituting this into the last line above we get: 5 . translating this to suit our variables we have y(0) = 0.00008t + C −0.

a = acceleration.34minutes ⇒t = − −0. and about -32f t/s2 in imperial units with the negative sign by convention since gravity accelerates a body downwards. we see that we wish to ﬁnd the value of t that satisﬁesy = 50000.81m/s2 in metric units.05 KG .00008t = −e−0.00008t For part (b) we wish to ﬁnd out how long it takes for the concentration to reach a level of . 6 . Using part (a) we see that: 50000 1 ⇒ 2 −1 ⇒ 2 1 ⇒ 2 1 ⇒ ln( ) 2 1 ⇒ ln( ) 2 = 100000 − 100000e−0.00008 Falling Object Problems The last type of problem we will be dealing with is that of falling objects. These problems will involve the formula v = at where v = velocity. Letting y(t) be the height of an object at time t.00008t ln( 1 ) 2 ≈ 8664.00008t = e−0. Rephrasing this by recognizing that such a concenl tration is equivalent to having (1000000)(. Piecing these dt facts together we see that: dy dt = (a)(t) This is the diﬀerential equation we shall solve in these types of questions.00008t = 1 − e−0.00008t ) = −0.00008t = ln(e−0. For a falling object the acceleration will be that due to gravity which is -9. we see that dy = v (velocity is the time rate of change of position).05) = 50000KG of ﬂuoride in total in the tank.0 = 100000 + Ce0 ⇒ C = −100000 So now substituting this into the same line above we have our answer to part (a): y = 100000 − 100000e−0. and t = time.

81 t2 + C ⇒ y = −4.905t2 + 500 ⇒ t2 = 500 ≈ 102 ⇒ t ≈ 10.81t ⇒ dy = (−9.1 4. we simply use the information we just found and rephrase the question: what is the speed of the object after 10.905t2 + C In the question. we are told that the object is dropped from a height of 500m.81t dt This is clearly a seperable equation: dy dt = −9. Letting y = 0 in the last equation we get: 0 = −4.1 seconds.1 seconds? 7 . So our diﬀerential equation is: dy = (a)(t) where dt m a = −9. so: dy = −9. and with what speed? Solution:We recognize right away that this is a falling object problem and that the units are metric. Substituting this into the last equation we get: 500 = −4. ﬁnd t when y = 0.e. When will the object reach ground level. i. y = 500.905(0)2 + C ⇒ C = 500 Therefore the equation which describes the height of the object is: y = −4.81 s2 .905 2 So the object is at ground level after approximately 10. As for the second part of the question (what speed is the object travelling when it reaches ground level).81t)dt ⇒ y = (−9. so we know that when t = 0.Example 3. An object is dropped from a height of 500m.905t2 + 500 We wish to ﬁnd out at which value of t the object hits the ground.

therefore the speed of s the object is 99. s 8 .1 m .81t So at t = 10.1 m when it reaches ground level.This is easy to solve since speed is just the absolute value of velocity.81(10.1 we have v = −9.1) ≈ −99. which is described here by: v = −9.

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