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# Math Bio

Monsoon 2014

1. Behavior of magnetization (M) in the presence of applied magnetic fields (B) is
described by the “Bloch equation”

dM
dt
= M! " B

Now consider M lying on a plane (say x-y plane) perpendicular to the main magnetic
field B, which has strength B
o
(so B = B
o
k). Assume i, j, k to be the unit vectors in the x,
y, and z directions. Hence the initial condition is M(0) = m
o
i.

(a) (1 pt) Show that in this coordinate system the Bloch equation becomes

The above equation can be rewritten as a matrix differential equation:

(b) (2 pts) Solution to the z component (m
z
) of the equation can be solved separately.
Find m
z
. Show that m
x
, m
y
equations can be written in this form:

d
dt
m
x
m
y
!
"
#
#
\$
%
&
&
=
0 !B
0
'!B
0
0
!
"
#
#
\$
%
&
&
m
x
m
y
!
"
#
#
\$
%
&
&

(c) (7 pts) Solve the equations in (b) for m
x
and m
y
. Define !
o
= "B
o
.

2. Consider a simple model of the intervertebral disk (the cartilage between the vertebrae
of your back). Consider the following figure as a model for the intervertebral disk.

30 Kg

Vertebra

0 5 mm
inter-vertebral disc

Vertebra

Because of elasticity, think of the disk as a spring between the two vertebrae. The
function y(t) is the displacement downward of the top vertebra. The thickness of the disk
is 5 mm. We will presume that the bottom vertebra is supported, and so it does not move.
A positive value for y indicates that the disk is being squeezed, and a negative value for y
means the disk is being stretched. In this model, the disk acts like a spring between the
upper and lower vertebrae. The weight bearing down on the disk from the body above it
is 30 kg., and the disk is 5 mm thick at equilibrium with this weight.

Let us say that we know from biomechanical measurements that the “spring constant” is
960 (Kg/s
2
) and the “damping constant” is 360 (kg/s). The corresponding forces are
given by

F
spring
= !960y and F
damping
= !360! y.

In HW 1 you have set up the resulting differential equation for the displacement y(t) of
the upper vertebra (mass m = 30 kg). (Use Newton’s law:

m!! y = F
total
.

(m is the mass of the object under consideration and F
total
is the sum of all forces acting on
it.)

Also assume an additional forcing function r(t) = 9.6 (kg.mm/s
2
) for t # 0.

Determine the solution to the nonhomogeneous equation numerically (Euler’s method)
and estimate y(t) at t = 0.2 sec.