Chapter 03.

04
Newton-Raphson Method of Solving a Nonlinear
Equation – More Examples
Chemical Engineering


Example 1
You have a spherical storage tank containing oil. The tank has a diameter of . You are
asked to calculate the height h to which a dipstick 8 ft long would be wet with oil when
immersed in the tank when it contains of oil.
ft 6
3
ft 6

h
r
Spherical Storage Tank
Dipstick

Figure 1 Spherical storage tank problem.

The equation that gives the height h of the liquid in the spherical tank for the given volume
and radius is given by
( ) 0 8197 . 3 9
2 3
= + ÷ = h h h f
Use the Newton-Raphson method of finding roots of equations to find the height to which
the dipstick is wet with oil. Conduct three iterations to estimate the root of the above
equation. Find the absolute relative approximate error at the end of each iteration and the
number of significant digits at least correct at the end of each iteration.
h

03.04.1
03.04.2 Chapter 03.04

Solution
( ) 8197 . 3 9
2 3
+ ÷ = h h h f
( ) h h h f 18 3
2
÷ = '
Let us take the initial guess of the root of ( ) 0 = h f as 1
0
= h .

Iteration 1
The estimate of the root is

( )
( )
0
0
0 1
h f
h f
h h
'
÷ =

( ) ( )
( ) ( ) 1 18 1 3
8197 . 3 1 9 1
1
2
2 3
÷
+ ÷
÷ =

15
1803 . 4
1
÷
÷
÷ =
( ) 27869 0 1 . ÷ =
72131 0. =
The absolute relative approximate error
a
e at the end of Iteration 1 is
100
1
0 1
×
÷
= e
h
h h
a

100
72131 0
1 72131 0
×
÷
=
.
.

% 636 . 38 =
The number of significant digits at least correct is 0, as you need an absolute relative
approximate error of or less for one significant digit to be correct in your result. % 5

Iteration 2
The estimate of the root is
( )
( )
1
1
1 2
h f
h f
h h
'
÷ =

( ) ( )
( ) ( ) 72131 0 18 72131 0 3
8197 . 3 72131 0 9 72131 0
72131 0
2
2 3
. .
. .
.
÷
+ ÷
÷ =

423 . 11
48764 . 0
72131 0
÷
÷
÷ = .
( ) 042690 . 0 72131 0 ÷ = .
67862 0. =
The absolute relative approximate error
a
e at the end of Iteration 2 is
100
2
1 2
×
÷
= e
h
h h
a

Newton-Raphson Method – More Equations: Chemical Engineering 03.04.3

100
67862 0
72131 0 67862 . 0
×
÷
=
.
.

% 2907 . 6 =
The number of significant digits at least correct is 0.

Iteration 3
The estimate of the root is
( )
( )
2
2
2 3
h f
h f
h h
'
÷ =

( ) ( )
( ) ( ) 67862 0 18 67862 . 0 3
8197 . 3 67862 0 9 67862 0
67862 . 0
2
2 3
.
. .
÷
+ ÷
÷ =

834 . 10
012536 . 0
67862 0
÷
÷
÷ = .
( ) 0011572 . 0 67862 0 ÷ = .
67747 0. =
The absolute relative approximate error
a
e at the end of Iteration 3 is
100
3
2 3
×
÷
= e
h
h h
a

100
67747 0
67862 0 67747 0
×
÷
=
.
. .

% 17081 . 0 =
Hence the number of significant digits at least correct is given by the largest value of for
which
m

m
a
÷
× s e
2
10 5 . 0

m ÷
× s
2
10 5 . 0 17081 . 0

m ÷
s
2
10 34162 . 0
( ) m ÷ s 2 34162 . 0 log
( ) 4665 . 2 34162 . 0 log 2 = ÷ s m
So
2 = m
The number of significant digits at least correct in the estimated root 0.67747 is 2.


NONLINEAR EQUATIONS
Topic Newton-Raphson Method-More Examples
Summary Examples of Newton-Raphson Method
Major Chemical Engineering
Authors Autar Kaw
Date August 7, 2009
Web Site http://numericalmethods.eng.usf.edu