11K views

Uploaded by Michael M. W. de Silva

Over the years I have been enjoying the delights of CSI, NCIS and similar `forensic' TV shows. Apart from their blatant tendency to give the `mass-spec' far too much air-time, and treat it like the go to solution especially in CSI, I have especially been intrigued how the medical examiners are always the point of focus when some one begs the question of \i{time of death}.
Even though I have modelled many lumped capacitance systems, and even simulated them in SIMULINK, I did not realise the solution to such a problem was a direct application of Newton's Law of Cooling. In particular, I find the analytic solution of the first-order ODE quite an elegant solution to this problem.

save

- Sherlock Holmes Mystery
- NEWTON'S LAW OF COOLING SLIDESHOW
- Newton's Law of Cooling & its applications
- Geological Mapping
- Newton's Law of Cooling
- Applications of Calculus in Forensic Science
- Lab Report U5 (Vicat Test).pdf
- Fila Table
- Newtons Law of Cooling
- ENGINEERING GEOLOGY SITE VISIT
- NEWTON'S LAW OF COOLING PROJECT
- Lab 3- Newton's Law of Cooling
- Marshall Mix Design
- Newton's Law of Cooling
- Site Report Geology NEW (Repaired)
- u2 Direct Shear Test & Unconfined Compression Test
- Lab 5-Force in a Statically Determinate Cantilever Truss UTHM
- Class8
- IDENTIFICATION OF ROCKS AND MINERALS.pdf
- Rational Functions With Desmos
- Exemplar Math IA
- Principles of Electronic Communication Systems 4th Ed _2014_ Louis E Frenzel.pdf
- Dry Sieve Report
- MATLAB Exercise
- Tok Essay Draft 1
- HW2
- Rational Functions Foldable
- Plastic analysis report
- Report of Analysis Structure Project
- The Inhomogenous Problem
- Analysis of Clarke's Geostationary Orbit (GEO), "Surface" Escape Velocity, and the Earth's Orbital Velocity About the Sun
- Constant-Pressure Turbocharger Matching by Michael M. W. de Silva
- Research Examples in Computer Forensics (Michael M. W. de Silva, 2009)
- 7CEMM721 Final MSc (Dist) Thesis Report (Michael M. Wijetunge de Silva) ~ Distribution Version
- Google Nexus One Rooting - Bootloader Unlock, Amon_RA's Recovery Image, and CyanogenMod ROM v5.0.6
- Possible Defences Faced in Computer Forensics
- Discrete PI and PID Controller Design and Analysis for Digital Implementation
- 7CEM2425 Dynamic Systems & Simulation - Lab 2 Report (Michael M. Wijetunge de Silva)
- BEng Honours Electronic and Computer Engineering Dissertation (Michael de Silva)
- CNC Machining Report – Premounting Base
- Solution of a Linear ODE by Using an Integration Factor (Michael de Silva)
- Computer Forensics - Computer Science
- CNC Machining Report – Wheel Base
- Analytic Solution of a First-Order ODE (Michael de Silva)
- Impact Analysis of a Falling Object (Michael de Silva)
- BEng Honours Electronic and Computer Engineering Dissertation, Viva Voce Poster (Michael de Silva)

You are on page 1of 4

Over the years I have been enjoying the delights of CSI, NCIS and similar ‘forensic’ TV shows. Apart

from their blatant tendency to give the ‘mass-spec’ far too much air-time, and treat it like the go to solution

especially in CSI, I have especially been intrigued how the medical examiners are always the point of focus

when some one begs the question of time of death.

Even though I have modelled many lumped capacitance systems, and even simulated them in SIMULINK,

I did not realise the solution to such a problem was a direct application of Newton’s Law of Cooling - as

I simply never gave this question much thought before. In particular, I ﬁnd the analytic solution of the

ﬁrst-order ODE quite an elegant solution to this problem, especially since it instantly shows the result is

that of a decaying exponential function - as one would expect it to be.

A computational approach to the solution is easily obtained by solving the ODE by using Euler’s Method.

This task is simply achieved by approximating the derivative with the ﬁnite-forward difference, where

f

(x) = lim

h→0

f(x + h) −f(x)

h

, thereby obtaining a recursive computational algorithm.

— Michael de Silva, October 2009

Comments, Criticism, and Contribution

If you have any suggestions or discover errors in this document, write to michael@mwdesilva.com to

help make this document better. Thanks in advance for your contribution.

Contributors will be acknowledged in this document.

Michael M. Wijetunge de Silva

MSc (Dist), BEng (Hons), MIEEE, AMIMechE(UK)

email: michael@mwdesilva.com • blog: bsodmike.com • r´ esum´ e: mwdesilva.com

1 Finding the Time of Death of a John Doe

First-order linear differential equations are widely used by scientists and engineers to solve a variety of

problems involving temperature.

Newton’s Law of Cooling: The rate at which the temperature T(t) changes in a cooling body is

directly proportional to the temperature difference between the body and the constant temperature

T

s

, of the surrounding medium.

Newton’s Law of Cooling is modelled as a ﬁrst-order initial-value problem,

dT

dt

= k (T −T

s

)

T(0) = T

0

(1)

where T

0

is the initial temperature of the body and k is the constant of proportionality.

If T

s

is constant, by separating variables,

1

T −T

s

dT = k dt (2)

Integrating both sides,

1

T −T

s

dT =

k dt

ln(T −T

s

) = kt + C

T −T

s

= e

kt+C

T(t) = T

s

+ Ce

kt

(3)

Applying the initial condition,

T(0) = T

s

+ Ce

0

→C = T

0

−T

s

(4)

1

Michael M. Wijetunge de Silva

MSc (Dist), BEng (Hons), MIEEE, AMIMechE(UK)

email: michael@mwdesilva.com • blog: bsodmike.com • r´ esum´ e: mwdesilva.com

Hence,

T(t) = T

s

+ (T

0

−T

s

) e

kt

(5)

If k < 0, lim

t→∞

e

kt

= 0. Therefore, lim

t→∞

T(t) = T

s

, and the temperature of the body approaches that

of its surroundings.

Example: At 9 am on October 19, 2009 a body was found in room 327 at the University Center. The

room is kept at a constant temperature of 72

◦

F. The medical examiner was called and he arrived in

eight minutes. The ﬁrst thing he did was to take the temperature of the body. It was 83

◦

F. Thirty

minutes later the temperature of the body was taken again and it was now 78

◦

F. Help the police by

telling them when the person was murdered.

Solution:

The initial condition is taken such that T

0

= 83 and T

s

= 72 at 9:08 am. Substituting these values into

Equation (5), we obtain T(t) = 72 + (83 −72) e

kt

= 72 + 11e

kt

.

At 09:38 when the medical examiner took the bodies temperature T(30) = 78 and T

s

= 72. Substitution,

once again yields 78 = 72 + (11) e

30k

. Solving for k, the constant of proportionality,

k =

ln

6

11

30

= −0.0202

(6)

Substituting k into Equation (5) yields T(t) = 72 + (11) e

−0.0202t

. This equation will take the form of

exponential decay due to its negative exponent,

Since the medical examiner wishes to know the time of death, a solution for t is found by setting the

temperature of the body at 98.6

◦

F, normal body temperature. Solving 98.6 = 72 + (11) e

−0.0202t

for t,

26.6

11

= e

−0.0202t

→ln

11

26.6

= 0.0202t

t =

ln

11

26.6

0.0202

= −43.7

(7)

Subtracting 43 minutes from 09:08 am gives the time of death as 08:25 am.

2

Integrating the ﬁrst-order linear differential equation resulted in a linear equation in Equation (3),

ln(T −T

s

) = kt + C (8)

It is clear the above is comparable to y = mx + c. Considering T(0) = T

0

,

ln(98.6 −72) = k(0) + C →C = ln(26.6) (9)

Since T(8) = 83 and T(38) = 78, we obtain two linear equations from Equation (8) where t is number of

minutes between death and 09:08 am and the other is the number of minutes between death and 09:38 am,

(i) ln(11) = kt + ln(26.6) and (ii) ln(6) = k(t + 30) + ln(26.6).

Solving for k with (i),

ln(11) = kt + ln(26.6) →k =

1

t

ln

11

26.6

(10)

Substituting this result,

ln(6) =

¸

1

t

ln

11

26.6

(t + 30) + ln(26.6)

ln(6) = ln

11

26.6

+

30

t

ln

11

26.6

+ ln(26.6)

ln

6

26.6

= ln

11

26.6

+

30

t

ln

11

26.6

ln

¸

¸

¸

6

26.6

11

26.6

= ln

6

11

=

30

t

ln

11

26.6

t =

ln

11

26.6

· 30

ln

6

11

= 43.7

(11)

Conﬁrming the result obtained previously, the time of death is 43 minutes before 09:08 am, hence, 08:25

am.

- Sherlock Holmes MysteryUploaded byRebecka Kermanshahi Peterson
- NEWTON'S LAW OF COOLING SLIDESHOWUploaded byArisan Iqma
- Newton's Law of Cooling & its applicationsUploaded byDr Srinivasan Nenmeli -K
- Geological MappingUploaded byEngr. Ikhwan Z.
- Newton's Law of CoolingUploaded bysomeoneveryrandom
- Applications of Calculus in Forensic ScienceUploaded byEmily Cribas
- Lab Report U5 (Vicat Test).pdfUploaded byEiyra Nadia
- Fila TableUploaded byEiyra Nadia
- Newtons Law of CoolingUploaded byMassimonkey
- ENGINEERING GEOLOGY SITE VISITUploaded byEngr. Ikhwan Z.
- NEWTON'S LAW OF COOLING PROJECTUploaded byArisan Iqma
- Lab 3- Newton's Law of CoolingUploaded bybilly
- Marshall Mix DesignUploaded byzuzu_ismail
- Newton's Law of CoolingUploaded byManoj Suthar
- Site Report Geology NEW (Repaired)Uploaded byKerol Kerol Kerol
- u2 Direct Shear Test & Unconfined Compression TestUploaded byshazmizahamir
- Lab 5-Force in a Statically Determinate Cantilever Truss UTHMUploaded byMoly Muliyani
- Class8Uploaded byQasim Ali
- IDENTIFICATION OF ROCKS AND MINERALS.pdfUploaded byEngr. Ikhwan Z.
- Rational Functions With DesmosUploaded byRebecka Kermanshahi Peterson
- Exemplar Math IAUploaded byChristina Wahle
- Principles of Electronic Communication Systems 4th Ed _2014_ Louis E Frenzel.pdfUploaded byManish Kumar Verma
- Dry Sieve ReportUploaded byNoor Shahirah Md Ruba'i
- MATLAB ExerciseUploaded byJustine Kei Lim
- Tok Essay Draft 1Uploaded byrotsro
- HW2Uploaded bysarmad
- Rational Functions FoldableUploaded byRebecka Kermanshahi Peterson
- Plastic analysis reportUploaded byAh Chia
- Report of Analysis Structure ProjectUploaded byHusnina Fakhira
- The Inhomogenous ProblemUploaded byMike Higgins

- Analysis of Clarke's Geostationary Orbit (GEO), "Surface" Escape Velocity, and the Earth's Orbital Velocity About the SunUploaded byMichael M. W. de Silva
- Constant-Pressure Turbocharger Matching by Michael M. W. de SilvaUploaded byMichael M. W. de Silva
- Research Examples in Computer Forensics (Michael M. W. de Silva, 2009)Uploaded byMichael M. W. de Silva
- 7CEMM721 Final MSc (Dist) Thesis Report (Michael M. Wijetunge de Silva) ~ Distribution VersionUploaded byMichael M. W. de Silva
- Google Nexus One Rooting - Bootloader Unlock, Amon_RA's Recovery Image, and CyanogenMod ROM v5.0.6Uploaded byMichael M. W. de Silva
- Possible Defences Faced in Computer ForensicsUploaded byMichael M. W. de Silva
- Discrete PI and PID Controller Design and Analysis for Digital ImplementationUploaded byMichael M. W. de Silva
- 7CEM2425 Dynamic Systems & Simulation - Lab 2 Report (Michael M. Wijetunge de Silva)Uploaded byMichael M. W. de Silva
- BEng Honours Electronic and Computer Engineering Dissertation (Michael de Silva)Uploaded byMichael M. W. de Silva
- CNC Machining Report – Premounting BaseUploaded byMichael M. W. de Silva
- Solution of a Linear ODE by Using an Integration Factor (Michael de Silva)Uploaded byMichael M. W. de Silva
- Computer Forensics - Computer ScienceUploaded byMichael M. W. de Silva
- CNC Machining Report – Wheel BaseUploaded byMichael M. W. de Silva
- Analytic Solution of a First-Order ODE (Michael de Silva)Uploaded byMichael M. W. de Silva
- Impact Analysis of a Falling Object (Michael de Silva)Uploaded byMichael M. W. de Silva
- BEng Honours Electronic and Computer Engineering Dissertation, Viva Voce Poster (Michael de Silva)Uploaded byMichael M. W. de Silva