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another amount increases at the same rate.

(Don't confuse it with the symbol for infinity )

How much you earn is directly proportional to how many hours you work

Work more hours, get more pay; in direct proportion.

This could be written:

etc ...

Constant of Proportionality

The "constant of proportionality" is the value that relates the two amounts

This can be written:

y = kx

Where k is the constant of proportionality

What is the constant of proportionality?

They are directly proportional, so:

y = kx

Put in what we know (y=15 and x=3):

15 = k 3

Solve (by dividing both sides by 3):

15/3 = k 3/3

5=k1

k=5

The constant of proportionality is 5:

y = 5x

When we know the constant of proportionality we can then answer other questions

Example: (continued)

What is the value of y when x = 9?

y = 5 9 = 45

2 = 5x

x = 2/5 = 0.4

Inversely Proportional

Inversely Proportional: when one value decreases at the same rate that the

other increases.

The further away we are from a light, the less bright it is:

Speed and travel time are Inversely Proportional because the faster we go the shorter the

time.

This:

y is inversely proportional to x

y=

k

x

How long will it take 6 people to paint it?

(Assume everyone works at the same rate)

It is an Inverse Proportion:

As the number of people goes up, the painting time goes down.

As the number of people goes down, the painting time goes up.

We can use:

t = k/n

Where:

t = number of hours

k = constant of proportionality

n = number of people

3 = k/4

34=k4/4

12 = k

k = 12

So now we know:

t = 12/n

And when n = 6:

t = 12/6 = 2 hours

So 6 people will take 2 hours to paint the fence.

How many people are needed to complete the job in half an hour?

= 12/n

n = 12 / = 24

So it needs 24 people to complete the job in half an hour.

Proportional to ...

It is also possible to be proportional to a square, a cube, an exponential, or other function!

Example: Proportional to x2

A stone is dropped from the top of a high tower.

The distance it falls is proportional to the square of the time of fall.

The stone falls 19.6 m after 2 seconds, how far does it fall after 3 seconds?

We can use:

d = kt2

Where:

19.6 = k 22

19.6 = 4k

k = 4.9

So now we know:

d = 4.9t2

And when t = 3:

d = 4.9 32

d = 44.1

So it has fallen 44.1 m after 3 seconds.

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