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You are on page 1of 49

OF MATHEMATICS IN

THE ENGINEERING

DISCIPLINES

THE APPLICATION

OF MATHEMATICS IN

THE ENGINEERING

DISCIPLINES

DAVID REEPING

KENNETH J. REID

The Application of Mathematics in the Engineering Disciplines

in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—

electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other—except for

brief quotations, not to exceed 250 words, without the prior permission

of the publisher.

Momentum Press®, LLC

222 East 46th Street, New York, NY 10017

www.momentumpress.net

ISBN-13: 978-1-60650-908-1 (e-book)

Collection

Chennai, India

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Abstract

This text serves two purposes. First, it is the companion text to Introduc-

tory Engineering Mathematics within the General Engineering and K-12

Engineering Education book series. Introductory Engineering Mathemat-

ics introduces some of the math concepts we see often in engineering,

including useful trigonometry, calculus, and functions. This text assumes a

level of understanding of mathematics at the level of a high school senior,

plus a bit from the introductory text. The second purpose of this text is

to introduce additional useful mathematical concepts that we see in engi-

neering problem solving: specifically, matrices and differential equations.

The concepts are introduced by examples rather than strict mathematical

derivation. Accordingly, the text probably wouldn’t be an effective substi-

tute for a course in differential equations, but it does intend to illustrate

how differential equations can be used and applied. Consider this text to be

a companion to such a course, or an introduction for someone interested in

exploring “why might differential equations be useful?” We use examples

drawn from engineering practice to illustrate the use of mathematics in

engineering, such as engineering failures both old and new. We hope you

see a broad coverage of mathematical concepts and develop an apprecia-

tion for how they apply to engineering. Perhaps this can give a new lens

through which to view engineering successes (and failures).

KEYWORDS

atrices,

modeling, stability, systems, Tacoma Narrows Bridge

Contents

List of figures ix

List of tables xiii

Acknowledgments xv

Chapter 1 Modeling Systems in Engineering 1

Chapter 2 Differential Equations in Engineering 29

Chapter 3 Describing Systems Using Mathematics 55

Chapter 4 Analyzing Failure in Systems 81

About the Authors 127

Index 129

List of Figures

in Washington DC. 4

Figure 1.2. A 2 × 4 board and a 2 × 4 matrix. 11

Figure 2.1. Initial conditions of a pendulum. 33

Figure 2.2. Process of solving a differential equation using

an integral transform. 40

Figure 2.3. An example of a pulse input. 44

Figure 3.1. Idealization of a rockslide. 56

Figure 3.2. Finding the output using the impulse response. 59

Figure 3.3. Example of a pole-zero plot using the complex plane;

in this instance, this function has three zeroes and five

poles (three of which are on the real axis). 61

Figure 3.4. Stability condition for systems. 62

Figure 3.5. Output of the stable system. 63

Figure 3.6. Pole-zero plot for the system. 63

Figure 3.7. Pole-zero plot for the hypothetical system. 64

Figure 3.8. Output of the unstable system. 64

Figure 3.9. Pole-zero plot for a marginally stable system. 65

Figure 3.10. Output of the marginally stable system. 65

Figure 3.11. A mass spring damper system. 66

Figure 3.12. Pole-zero plot for the mass spring damper

where k b .68

Figure 3.13. Sample plot of the output where the dashpot

overpowers the spring. 69

Figure 3.14. Pole-zero plot for the mass spring damper where b k .70

x • List of Figures

Figure 3.15. Sample plot of the output where the spring overpowers

the dashpot. 71

Figure 3.16. Pole-zero plot for the mass spring damper. 72

Figure 3.17. Sample plot of the output of the mass damper system. 73

Figure 3.18. Moving the poles closer and closer to the

unstable region. 74

Figure 3.19. Simple poles versus multiple poles on the

imaginary axis. 77

Figure 3.20. Cascade connection. 77

Figure 3.21. Parallel connection. 78

Figure 3.22. An example of a mix between cascade and parallel. 78

Figure 3.23. Implementing the systems in cascade connection. 79

Figure 4.1. Parabolic and hyperbolic representations of cables. 84

Figure 4.2. Diagram of the U10 plate and internal forces. 91

Figure 4.3. Free body diagram of the U10 gusset plate. 92

Figure 4.4. 3-4-5 Triangle. 92

Figure 4.5. Computing Cosine from 3-4-5 Triangle. 93

Figure 4.6. Finding the relevant forces to sum in the x direction

(in gray). 94

Figure 4.7. Finding the relevant forces to sum in the y direction

(in gray). 96

Figure 4.8. Demonstration of how a moment is calculated. 97

Figure 4.9. Illustration of Poisson’s ratio. 99

Figure 4.10. Stress–strain curve for a metal. 100

Figure 4.11. Illustration of shear 100

Figure 4.12. Forces acting upon a bolt in opposite directions. 102

Figure 4.13. Shear on the U10 plate. 102

Figure 4.14. An example of a distributed load. 105

Figure 4.15. Triangle created using the function f ( x ) = x on the

interval [0,1]. 106

Figure 4.16. Placement of the centroid. 108

Figure 4.17. A distributed load on a 6 ft long beam. 110

Figure 4.18. Resolution of a distributed load into a single force. 111

Figure 4.19. Breaking a load into pieces to simplify calculations. 111

Figure 4.20. Nonlinear distributed load on a 7 m beam 112

List of Figures • xi

a single force. 113

Figure 4.22. Approximation of the integral using three trapezoids

(elements). 114

Figure 4.23. Comparison of sums of areas under the curve

(Steps 1 to 5 correspond to the steps in Table 4.4). 115

Figure 4.24. Examples of elements. 116

Figure 4.25. Shearing of a cylindrical object. 117

Figure 4.26. Shearing at the element level. 117

Figure 4.27. Idealized FEA solution. 118

Figure 4.28. AC voltage and the RMS, or effective, value. 119

Figure 4.29. Knee flexion angle. 123

Figure 4.30. Representation of the divot caused by degradation. 124

Figure 4.31. Identifying the maximum thickness. 125

Figure 4.32. An illustration of an “ill-structured” problem. 126

List of Tables

Table 1.2. Evaluating the function’s derivatives at t = 1 6

t

Table 1.3. Evaluating e ’s derivatives at t = 0 7

Table 1.4. Summary of elementary row operations 13

Table 2.1. Forms of the solution for different situations 36

Table 2.2. Laplace transform pairs 42

Table 2.3. Common convolution pairs 52

Table 4.1. Shear strength 101

Table 4.2. Two simple special cases of distributed loads 109

Table 4.3. Comparison of convergence to the area under the curve

for different sums 115

Table 4.4. Comparison of patient’s flexion angle pre- and

postreplacement124

Table 4.5. Summary of materials common in knee replacements 125

Acknowledgments

friends who reviewed this book and provided invaluable feedback: Jeff

Connor, Alexandra Seda, and Lily Virgüez.

CHAPTER 1

Modeling Systems

in Engineering

mathematical models capture the raw details of the same experience using

equations and formulas. Anything that we would quantify (make measur-

able) or explain using numbers is a candidate for modeling. Something

that is purely qualitative, meaning something that is not measured using

numbers, can also be mathematically modeled, strangely enough.

What is a model? A model is a representation of an item, a process,

an event, a person, etc. It may be a three-dimensional representation of a

physical structure, or it may be a simplified process meant to represent

a more complex one. Models are extraordinary helpful tools for cutting

costs and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of our products and

processes. NASA certainly does not operate on a trial and error basis by

launching multimillion dollar space shuttles and hoping the journey is

successful. When the government is prepared to introduce a new program,

we may hear that the program is expected to save (or cost) so many billions

of dollars. To find this number, we can: either implement the program and

let it run for a few years and see what happens, or develop a model and

predict what we expect will happen. This is an example of a mathematical

model.

Why else would we want to make a model? Many fields of research

and businesses require a mathematical model to make decisions. These

can take the form of statistical models, an offshoot of mathematical mod-

els that involve statistics, where the main goal is to produce something that

can make accurate predictions. It is essentially the company genie that can

only grant one big wish and possibly do a few tricks.

More complex models are based off experimental data. After a cer-

tain number of trials, we may be pretty confident that you could come

2 • THE APPLICATION OF MATHEMATICS IN THE ENGINEERING

up with a model to predict what will happen. That way, we can make an

accurate prediction of the results without having to collect more data.

This is particularly attractive once you start talking about outrageously

expensive, time-intensive massive experiments that may or may not be

feasible to run in real life. In the cases of real-world data, no perfect

model exists, we can only aim to create and improve the models to a

degree they are useful.

MODELING

We’ll start nice and easy by creating and interpreting a common mathe-

matical model to make approximations of functions; however, the process

of generating a mathematical model generalizes to just about any model-

ing challenge. Much like learning a second language, there is a learning

curve in translating English to Math. Luckily, there are some tricks that we

can use to ease into these translations.

but we should always read a problem until we completely under-

stand what is asked. Not interpreting the problem correctly is where

most mistakes begin.

2. Once you understand the problem, pick out important infor-

mation. While this may be a more acquired skill, identifying given

information and necessary assumptions is crucial. Sometimes,

extraneous information—data or descriptions that are not relevant

or not helpful—may be included in the problem description. In the

real world, extraneous information is abundant and can take many

forms. Certain extraneous data could be completely meaningless

when the context of our goal is applied.

3. Think critically about the problem, make simplifying assump-

tions. Engineering and modeling are typically built around

open-ended problems—problems without a single correct answer—

which are not solvable unless assumptions are made. For instance,

the problems of “designing a vacuum cleaner” or “modeling the

traffic flow on the interstate” require some level of scoping to

become tractable. Further, engineering often utilizes a library of

messy formulas, most of which are interconnected. As we develop

a model or models, we should continue to examine if we are appro-

priately considering the given information, if our assumptions are

Modeling Systems in Engineering • 3

valid and applicable, and that the work is progressing toward a use-

ful and meaningful solution(s).

4. Test your model. Once we go through all the trouble of creating

this work of art, we should determine if it works in the context

that you’re tasked to model. We should ask ourselves the following

questions:

a. Does our model match any known values given in the problem?

b. Do our predictions make sense?

c. What are we assuming to make this model work? Did we

assume too much?

list and acknowledge them.

know the closest airport in terms of time. There are three major airports:

Dulles, Reagan, and Baltimore – Washington. Creating a mathematical model

of airport locations can take many forms, but the simplest would be a net-

work (also called a graph). The network will be made up of dots and lines

(nodes and edges) where each node is an airport (with one additional node as

our starting position) and each line connecting us to the airports is a “cost” to

move from one node to the next. In this case, we are concerned about the time

to travel to each airport, so the “cost” is the time to travel from the starting

position to the destination. Travel time can be easily calculated from

port’s coordinates are ( xA , yA ), then the distance is found using the usual

distance formula:

Distance = ( xS − xA )2 + ( yS − yA )

2

the airports and convert them to xy coordinates since latitude and longi-

tude are angular measurements, not linear like the flat xy plane. A quick

search using Google Maps yields the values given in Table 1.1.

4 • THE APPLICATION OF MATHEMATICS IN THE ENGINEERING

Dulles 38.9531 77.4565 −36.4364 6.15

Reagan 38.8512 77.0402 −0.321 −5.162

case, we used the White House as the origin. Next, we can take our xy

coordinates and plot them in the plane to obtain Figure 1.1.

To calculate the costs along the edges (tDulles , tReagan , tBaltimore ), we will

take our distance formula and divide it by some average speed sAVG we

expect. This gives us a generic model for the travel time:

Distance from Start to Airport ( xA − xS ) + ( yA − yS )

2 2

t Airport = =

Average Speed sAVG

ally captures the relationship between our chosen starting point and the

resulting travel times to each of the airports.

(Note: the White House is at the origin).

Modeling Systems in Engineering • 5

work involves using an infinite series—typically Taylor and Maclaurin

series. For instance, we can use an infinite series to model a function—an

approximate of sorts. Power series serve as an overarching term to describe

any series modeling a function within a given interval, but typically, repre-

sentations need to be tied back to the geometric series somehow, especially

in a calculus course—which does not sound particularly useful. Instead,

we search for a more practical way to represent functions as series. Our

hunt for more useful techniques immediately leads us to Taylor series and

Maclaurin series. A Taylor series acts like an approximation of a function;

in fact, the same terminology is almost the same from the power series

discussion since a Taylor series is a power series.

∞

fa (t ) = ∑cn (t − a)n

n=0

Note we said approximation; the old saying, “if it’s too good to be

true, it probably is,” certainly applies here. The disclaimer here is the

“centered at a” portion, hence the subscript a in f a (t ).

a series of polynomial terms; eventually, if we had an infinite number

of these terms, we could have two functions that were exactly the same

(not just a good approximation). When we center our approximation

at a point a, we say that the function and the series approximating the

function are exactly the same at that point: the value of the function,

its derivative, 2nd derivative, etc. In general, the closer we are to point

a, the closer our approximation is to the function. In most cases, the

approximation is only valid for some small window around a.

tives and evaluating them at whatever the series is centered at, the a value:

f ( n) ( a )

cn =

n!

6 • THE APPLICATION OF MATHEMATICS IN THE ENGINEERING

but it is only valid on a particular interval. The interval in question is the

radius of convergence. We can find this interval using the ratio test.

1 cn + 1

= lim

r n → ∞ cn

1

Notice r is the radius of convergence, not .

r

take a function that we want to express as a series around t = 1.

f ( t ) = 0.5t 3 + 0.5t 2 + 1

use it to simply prove a point; all we need to do is take derivatives and plug

in 1 at each step to determine the coefficients (Table 1.2).

Derivative Evaluated at 1

f (t ) , starting function 2

f ′ ( t ) = 1.5t 2 + t 2.5

f ″ (t ) = 3t + 1 4

f ″′ ( x ) = 3 3

f ″″ ( t ) = 0 0

0

f ( n) ( t ) = 0

Modeling Systems in Engineering • 7

Following the format for the Taylor series, our center is 1—which is

the a value—and the coefficients are 2, 2.5, 4, 3, and 0 thereafter. This

means our Taylor series is,

∞

1 1 1 1

f1 ( t ) = ∑cn (t − 1)n = 2 + 2.5 ( t − 1) + 4 ( t − 1) + 3 ( t − 1)

0! 1! 2!

2

3!

3

n=0

f1 ( t ) = 2 + 2.5 ( t − 1) + 2 ( t − 1) + 0.5 ( t − 1)

2 3

***

A Maclaurin series may sound like it would be wildly different, but

it is only a special case of a Taylor series. Simply put, if we form a Taylor

series centered at zero ( a = 0 ), then it is a Maclaurin series—they are

practically synonyms.

for e t . The only requirement for us is to find the coefficients and the series

will take care of the rest.

∞

y ( n) (0) n

et = ∑ n!

t

n=0

plugging in zero for each derivative. Let’s make a table, even though we

should know better, and see what the coefficients should be (Table 1.3).

Derivative Evaluated at 0

f (t ), starting function, = e t 1

f ′ (t ) = et 1

f ″ (t ) = et 1

f ″′ ( t ) = e t 1

f ( n) ( t ) = e t 1

8 • THE APPLICATION OF MATHEMATICS IN THE ENGINEERING

is going to stay the same. This means whichever derivative we evaluate at

zero will be e 0 = 1. While this certainly will not always happen for func-

tions in general, we can say in this case:

y ( n) ( 0 ) = 1 no matter what whole number n may be

∞

1

et = ∑ n! t n

n=0

Done! Now, where does this series represent e t ? In other words, what

is the radius of convergence? As engineers, it is crucial to know where

our approximations are valid; otherwise, mistakes are bound to happen.

Thankfully, we can easily find the radius using the ratio test for series:

1 cn + 1

= lim

r n → ∞ cn

the necessary adjustments,

1

1 ( n + 1)!

= lim

r n→ ∞ 1

n!

We do not need the absolute value signs, both quantities will always

be positive. Simplifying a bit gives us,

1 n!

= lim

r n → ∞ ( n + 1)!

Factorials are a little tricky to work with, but we can typically deal

with them by writing out what each factorial means:

1 n ( n − 1)( n − 2 )( 3)( 2 ) (1)

= lim

r n → ∞ ( n + 1)( n )( n − 1)( n − 2 ) (3)(2)(1)

From our last line, we can see almost all the terms will cancel, leaving

us with a fraction with a denominator heading toward infinity. This means,

1

lim =0

n→ ∞ n+1

Modeling Systems in Engineering • 9

We are not quite done, we need to remember the equality from the

beginning:

1

=0

r

equality remotely true. Therefore, the radius of convergence is infinity.

This would then imply, amazingly, that this representation of e t is valid

everywhere!

***

where is it useful? One immediate example is evaluating integrals which

have no antiderivative we can express using known elementary functions.

For instance, consider:

1

∫−1 e − t

2

dt

Since this integral has bounds, we know we just need to find the area.

Go ahead and try to integrate the function, you will make absolutely no

progress unless you use some advanced tricks. We have a trick of our own,

the Taylor series. Using the Taylor series for e t , we easily construct the

Taylor series for e − t .

2

∞

1

et = ∑ n! t n

n=0

Now replace t by −t 2 .

∞

1

∑ n! ( −t 2 )

n

e−t =

2

n=0

Done! Now we have Taylor series for e − t without putting forth much

2

effort. Let’s replace the e − t in the integral with its Taylor series.

2

∞

1

∫−1 n∑= 0 n! ( −t 2 )

1 1 n

∫−1 e − t

2

dt = dt

10 • THE APPLICATION OF MATHEMATICS IN THE ENGINEERING

We can write out a few terms in the series to get an idea of what the

area may be:

∞

1 1 1 1

∫−1 n∑= 0 n! ( −t 2 )

1 n 1

dt = ∫−1 1 − t 2 + 2 t 4 − 6 t 6 + 24 t 8 + … dt

Now we integrate,

1 1 1 1

∫−1 1 − t 2 + 2 t 4 − 6 t 6 + 24 t 8 + … dt

1

1 1 5 1 7 1 9 …

= x − t3 + t − t + t +

3 10 42 216

−1

1 3 1 5 1 7 1 9 …

1 − 1 + 1 − 1 + 1 +

3 10 42 216

1 1 1 1

− −1 − ( −1)3 + ( −1)5 − ( −1)7 + ( −1)9 + …

3 10 42 216

≈ 1.4950

close by only using a few terms.

***

variables, the overwhelming feeling of dread may wash over those who

have not heard of the ubiquitous mathematical abstraction called the

matrix.

To begin, the definition of a matrix is the following:

or expressions arranged in n rows and m columns. When reporting a

matrix’s size, we say it is n × m (n by m), just like pieces of wood (2 × 4s;

Figure 1.2).

Modeling Systems in Engineering • 11

3 2 4 –1

about 2” 2×4 2 rows

–7 4 2 8

about 4” 4 columns

actually measures 1.5 in. × 3.5 in.)

Lumber is dried in a kiln after it is cut and shrinks. After drying, it is

cut to the standard size for a 2 × 4: 1½ in. by 3½ in. Other board sizes

are similarly smaller than the “nominal dimensions.”

do systems of equations have with matrices? Let’s first establish what a

matrix is. Say we have some system with a few equations, this system can

be transformed into a matrix:

x1 + x2 + x3 = 1

1 1 1 1

2 x1 + 2 x2 + 2 x3 = 2 2 2 2 2

We can write this as a matrix!

3x + 3x + 3x = 3

1 2 3

3 3 3 3

How is this possible? Let’s break down how a matrix is set up. First,

each row corresponds to one equation. That means our first equation is

represented in the top row, the second goes below the first, the third below

the second, and so on.

first equation first equation

second equation To matrix form second equation

third equation third equation

Now what about the columns? Well, the number of columns is depen-

dent on the number of variables we’re working with: the total number of

columns equals the number of variables on the left hand side of the equa-

tion plus column(s) for the solution(s). If an equation has four variables,

you’ll have four columns plus one column. Let’s take a look.

12 • THE APPLICATION OF MATHEMATICS IN THE ENGINEERING

3 x1 + 2 x2 + 5 x3 = 3 3 2 5 3

1 4 2 2

x1 + 4 x2 + 2 x3 = 2 To matrix form

x + 5x − 9 x = 7 1 5 −9 7

1 2 3

x1 x2 x3 #

Easy enough, we just peel away the numbers in front of each variable

and place them in their correct spots in the matrix (remember to treat any

subtraction as the addition of a negative number). It’s easy enough to trans-

form a system into matrix form when all the variables are lined up with

each other (this makes the whole process much smoother). If a variable is

missing from one equation, but appears in another equation, place a 0 in

its spot in the matrix. For example,

5 x1 + 2 x2 = 3 5 x1 + 2 x2 = 3 5 2 3

= x1 missing in the second equation

0 1 5

x2 = 5 0 x1 + x2 = 5

fact, the popular programming language MATLAB is short for “MATrix

LABoratory.” Provided you can arrange your problem statement as a

matrix, many software packages are there to come to your assistance.

If we want to feed a tasty matrix to MATLAB, all we need to do is

format the input as follows; A = [1, 2, 3; 5, 4, 3]. This assigns a 2 × 3

matrix with the values we picked to the variable A. Commas are used

to distinguish between the values on the same row and semicolons are

used to denote the next row.

contain the essence of the problem we are trying to solve. The values could

represent anything from the magnitude of forces to voltages at different

nodes in a circuit.

Never lose sight of the fact our matrices are meant to represent a sys-

tem of equations, so they have the same properties. For instance, the order

in which we write the equations in the system does not matter, so the rows

in the matrix can be swapped as many times as we would like without

changing the solution:

Equation 1 Equation 2

Equation 2 → Equation 1

Equation 3 Equation 3

Table 1.4. Summary of elementary row operations

Multiply a row by a nonzero number Switch two rows Add a multiple of a row to another

2 1 1 2 2 1 1 2 2 −2 1 1 1 1

=

−4 1 1 −4 −4

↑ ↓ = > 1 1 = 1− 2 1− 2

2 2 1 1 ↓+

We can multiply any row by a number other We can swap two rows at any point. We can multiply one row by a nonzero

than zero; it will not affect your answer at number and then add it to another row.

all.

Modeling Systems in Engineering • 13

14 • THE APPLICATION OF MATHEMATICS IN THE ENGINEERING

is the same as

Coefficients of Equation 1 Coefficients of Equation 2

Coefficients of Equation 2 → Coefficients of Equation 1

Coefficients of Equation 3 Coefficients of Equation 3

“ 3 × ( x + 2 y − z = 5)” is the same as “" 3 × [ 1 2 − 1 5 ] ”

Equation 1 Row 1

+ Equation 2 is the same as + Row 2

= New Equation 1 = New Row 1

( x + y + z = 1) [1 1 1 1]

+ ( x + 2 y − z = 5) is the same as + [1 2 − 1 5]

= 2 x + 3 y + 0 z = 6 = [2 3 0 6]

method is through Gauss–Jordan Elimination. Using the elementary

row operations (Table 1.4) we just talked about, we bring the matrix to

row echelon form to give us the solution(s) to the system.

We use the elementary row operations to bring the matrix to row

echelon form. We know the elementary row operations now, but what

does it mean for a matrix to be in row echelon form?

1. All nonzero rows (rows with at least one nonzero element) are

above any rows of all zeroes (all zero rows, if any, belong at the

bottom of the matrix).

2. The leading coefficient (which is the first nonzero number from

the left) of a nonzero row is always strictly to the right of the lead-

ing coefficient of the row above it.

3. All entries in a column below a leading entry are zeroes.

in its column, then the matrix is in reduced row echelon form.

Modeling Systems in Engineering • 15

* # #

0 * #

0 0 *

MATRIX MULTIPLICATION

Imagine we had a number in front of the matrix (we’ll call it n) like so:

a b

A = n

c d

entry in the matrix.

a b na nb

A =n =

c d nc nd

multiplication, we must remember that the number of columns in A

must be the same as the number of rows in B. If this condition isn’t met,

then the × multiplication isn’t valid.

m×n

n× p

AB = C m×p

(3 × 2) 1 5 3 rows

0 7

−1 3

2 columns

we only care about the number of rows in A and the number of columns

16 • THE APPLICATION OF MATHEMATICS IN THE ENGINEERING

original number of rows in A and columns in B do not matter after the

multiplication.

(2) What is the indicator? The

number of columns in A must

( 2 × 3)( 3 × 4 ) = ( 2 × 4 ) ? be the same as the number of

rows in B. Are these the same?

(3) ( 2 × 3)( 3 × 4 ) = ( 2 × 4) Since these two quantities are

the same, the multiplication

True. will work!

***

Now, how do we multiply? For this, we need to use dot product. Let’s

jump into an example and skip the theory so it is as basic as it can be.

Multiply a 2 × 2 matrix with a 2 × 2 and see what happens.

1 3 0 1

2 5 5 6

Look at this, we’ve taken the first row and considered the two col-

umns in the second matrix. What do we do with these?

1 3 0 1

2 5 5 6

Imagine taking the row and rotating it by taking the leftmost number

on top and stacking the other numbers below it. This stack should be the

same orientation as the columns.

1

1 3 →

3

With these, we will multiply horizontally and then add the products

together vertically. In other words, multiply what is in the bubbles, and add

the result of the bubbles:

Modeling Systems in Engineering • 17

1 0

3 5

1 × 0 = 0

0 + 15 = 15

3 × 5 = 15

1 1

3 6

1 × 1 = 1

1 + 18 = 19

3 × 6 = 18

in the resulting matrix! How to know which is which depends on the col-

umn and row you considered. For example, we just took the first row and

first column, then the first row and second column. It only makes sense

that the result of those operations should go in the same places.

15 19

? ?

Now we do that same thing for the second row, it will be the exact

same procedure.

1 3 0 1

2 5 5 6

Here, we will multiply across, add those results together, and place the

sum in the correct position in the matrix.

2 0

5 5

2 × 0 = 0

0 + 25 = 25

5 × 5 = 25

18 • THE APPLICATION OF MATHEMATICS IN THE ENGINEERING

2 1

5 6

2 × 1 = 2

2 + 30 = 32

5 × 6 = 30

1 3 0 1 15 19

2 5 5 6 = 25 32

What happens if we switch the two matrices and try to multiply? Try this

problem

0 1 1 3

5 6 2 5 = ?

mutative. Even though regular multiplication works if we switch the order

that we multiply, the same cannot be said for matrices. Mathematically, if

we call the first matrix A and the second matrix B, then AB ≠ BA (the only

exception is if A = B ).

Although we can perform addition, subtraction, and multiplication on

matrices, matrix arithmetic does not support division. Instead, we multiply

by the inverse. Given a matrix A, the inverse of the matrix, A−1, is a special

matrix such that A and A−1 multiplied together produce an identity matrix.

For instance, if A is a 3 × 3 matrix, then:

1 0 0

AA −1

= A A= I = 0 1 0

−1

0 0 1

matrix if it has 1s along the main diagonal and 0s elsewhere. The notation

for the matrix is commonly written as I n, where n is the number of 1’s in

the diagonal.

Modeling Systems in Engineering • 19

Take a look:

I1 = [1] 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0

I2 =

0 1 I3 = 0 1 0 0 1 0 0

I4 =

0 0 1 0 0 1 0

0 0 0 1

a scientific calculator or software since computation by hand is time-

consuming and tedious.

The simplest problem we may need to solve is

AX = B

variables for which we want to know the values. The equation could be

Ohm’s law (RI = V ), or Hooke’s law (KX = F ), but any problem sharing

a similar form will follow the same procedure. Using matrix arithmetic,

the symbolic solution is easily found:

X = A−1 B

but figuring out what A−1 B turns out to be can be quite tedious. This is

where technology comes in. After entering the known values of A and B,

the line of MATLAB code to retrieve the solution is just:

>> X = inv(A) × B

1.3 DETERMINANTS

entries of a matrix, and we can use it to solve simultaneous equations. The

determinant pops up in calculus, linear algebra, engineering mechanics,

and so on. We can think of the determinant as an operator, which can be

written in the form det ( A). Let’s calculate det ( A):

a b

A=

c d

det(A) = a b = ad − bc

c d

20 • THE APPLICATION OF MATHEMATICS IN THE ENGINEERING

In the example above, the matrix is two by two, which has a conve-

nient formula for the determinant. How did we get it?

a b a b

−

c d c d

gether, and subtracted the second diagonal including b and c, with b and

c multiplied together. That’s all! What about larger matrices, such as those

with an extra column and row—three by three?

a b c

d e f

g h i

larger formula. We could directly plug in numbers, but there’s little sense

in memorizing it:

a b c

d e f = aci − afh − bdi + bfg + cdh − ceg

g h i

method of reducing the computation of the determinant of larger matrices

to computing the determinants of multiple 2 × 2 matrices, which is a

much simpler calculation. Before we walk through the method, we should

note that we can do the following process in any row or column since the

steps do not change. Now, here’s how we do it:

row (this is the typical choice). Draw a line

a b c down the column and a line across the row

d e f (we don't need those numbers right now).

Box in the numbers that are left.

g h i

We do the same thing for the number in

a b c the next column.

d e f

g h i

Again for the last column.

a b c

d e f

g h i

Modeling Systems in Engineering • 21

The boxed numbers will be their own matrix, so now we have these

determinants:

e f d f d e

h i g i g h

e f d f d e

a b c

h i g i g h

row or column we choose. Since we did row expansion across the top row,

we follow that part of the chart. That means, b will have a negative sign.

+ − +

− + −

+ − +

e f d f d e

+a −b +c

h i g i g h

Let’s put it all together in an expression for the determinant of the 3 × 3

matrix.

a b c

e f d f d e

d e f =a −b +c

h i g i g h

g h i

matrix and apply it to each term, then simplify by distributing.

1 4 5

determinant of this

6 7 8

matrix using the row

2 3 2

expansion method.

22 • THE APPLICATION OF MATHEMATICS IN THE ENGINEERING

6 7 8 we set up earlier. Circle

the first number, cross

2 3 2 out the numbers in the

1 4 5 same row and column,

6 7 8 then box in what’s left.

Move along the top

2 3 2

row and do the same

1 4 5 process.

6 7 8

2 3 2

(3) Take the boxed numbers

7 8 6 8 6 7

from each piece and we

3 2 2 2 2 3 have the following.

(4) 7 8 6 8 6 7 Now we add the circled

1 −4 5 numbers and put them

3 2 2 2 2 3

with their respective

determinants, keeping

the sign chart in mind.

(5) 1 4 5 Now we can break up

7 8 6 8 the determinant into

6 7 8 =1 −4

3 2 2 2 three simplified pieces.

2 3 2

6 7

+5

2 3

1 −4 +5 2 × 2 matrix.

3 2 2 2 2 3

= 1[( 7 )( 2 ) − ( 3)(8 )] − 4 [( 6 )( 2 ) − (8 )( 2 )]

+ 5[( 6 )( 3) − ( 7 )( 2 )]

(7) = 1[( 7 )( 2 ) − ( 3)(8 )] − 4 [( 6 )( 2 ) − (8 )( 2 )] Like before, it becomes

arithmetic.

+ 5[( 6 )( 3) − ( 7 )( 2 )]

= [14 − 24 ] − 4 [12 − 16 ] + 5[18 − 14 ]

= −10 − 4 [ −4 ] + 5[ 4 ]

= −10 + 16 + 20

= 26 After all the

1 4 5 multiplication and

6 7 8 = 26 subtraction, we find

2 3 2 that the determinant

is 26.

***

Modeling Systems in Engineering • 23

It is worth repeating that we are able to expand from any outside row

or column of the matrix as long as we follow the procedure (and the sign

chart!). While it is possible and “mathematically legal” to expand from

these other places, people usually tend to pick one spot and stick with it.

a b c a b c a b c

d e f d e f d e f

g h i g h i g h i

We have one more tool to solve systems of equations. Unlike the matrix

method, we can solve for one variable at a time. Suppose we have the fol-

lowing system of equations:

3x + 4 y + 7 z = 1

2x + 5y + z = 3

2 x + 4 y + 14 z = 0

Now, let’s set up the determinant of the matrix that goes along with it

and solve it, we’ll call it Δ.

3 4 7

∆= 2 5 1

2 4 14

5 1 2 1 2 5

=3 −4 +7

4 14 2 14 2 4

= 3( 70 − 4 ) − 4 ( 28 − 2 ) + 7 (8 − 10 )

∆ = 80

Once we know the value of the determinant, the solution to each piece

is represented by a formula, involving this special value, Δ.

∆x ∆y ∆z

x= y= z=

∆ ∆ ∆

24 • THE APPLICATION OF MATHEMATICS IN THE ENGINEERING

From here, we need to define Δ x; let’s set up the formula using these

constants and involve them in the determinant:

3x + 4 y + 7 z = 1

2x + 5y + z = 3

2 x + 4 y + 14 z = 0

of x with the coefficients. This means our expression will look like this:

3 4 7

2 5 1

∆=

2 4 14

x y z

1 4 7

∆x = 3 5 1

0 4 14

1 4 7

5 1 3 1 3 5

∆x = 3 5 1 =1 −4 +7

4 14 0 14 0 4

0 4 14

= ( 70 − 4 ) − 4 ( 42 ) + 7 (12 )

∆ x = −18

and we find:

∆x 18 9

x= =− = −

∆ 80 40

We can do the same procedure with y and z, the only change with the

determinants is which row we replace with the coefficients.

Modeling Systems in Engineering • 25

3 1 7 3 4 1

∆y = 2 3 1 ∆z = 3 5 3

2 0 14 2 4 0

∆y 58 29 ∆z 14 7

y= = = z= =− = −

∆ 80 40 ∆ 80 40

1. Take all of the coefficients of each variable in the system and make

a determinant out of them. The columns will be the different vari-

ables and each row will be a different equation. This will be your

most important determinant, the Δ value.

ax + by + cz = 0 a b c

dx + ey + fz = 0 ∆ = d e f

gx + hy + iz = 0 g h i

2. Set up the Δ determinant for each variable by taking the free coef-

ficients (whatever each function is equal to) and replacing the

variable’s column with those coefficients. This process is shown

with Δ x below:

equation 1 = 1 1 b c

equation 2 = 2 so, ∆ x = 2 e f

equation 3 = 3 3 h i

3. Using the values for each Δ, use the easy formula to instantly get

the solution!

∆some variable

some variable =

∆

26 • THE APPLICATION OF MATHEMATICS IN THE ENGINEERING

x+ y−z = 3

rule to solve this

−x − 3y + z = 2 system.

2x − 2 y + z = 0

(2) We need to

1x + 1 y − 1z = 3

calculate the

1x − 3 y + 1z = 2

− Δ for this

2 x − 2 y − 1z = 0

system. We

take all of these

1 1 −1 coefficients and

∆= −1 −3 1 set up the matrix.

2 −2 −1

1 1 −1

−3 1 −1 1 expansion and

∆= −1 −3 1 = −

−2 −1 2 −1 simplifying,

2 −2 −1

we find the Δ

−1 −3 for this matrix to

−

2 −2 be −2.

= [ 3 + 2 ] − [1 − 2 ] − [ 2 + 6 ] = 5 + 1 − 8 = −2

3 1 −1

−3 1 2 1 column with the

∆x = 2 −3 1 = 3 −

−2 −1 0 −1 free coefficients

0 −2 −1

and use row

2 −3 expansion to

−

0 −2 find our ∆x,

which turns out

= 3[ 3 + 2 ] − [ −2 − 1] − [ −4 ] = 3[ 5] − [ −2 ] − [ −4 ] to be 21.

= 21

1 3 −1

2 1 −1 1 with ∆y. Replac-

∆y = −1 2 1 = −3

0 −1 2 −1 ing the y column

2 0 −1

with the free

−1 2 coefficients and

−

2 0 expanding the

top row gives 5.

= [ −2 ] − 3[1 − 2 ] − [ −4 ] = [ −2 ] − 3[ −1] − [ −4 ]

=5

Modeling Systems in Engineering • 27

1 1 3

−3 2 −1 2 column with the

∆z = −1 −3 2 = −

−2 0 2 0 free coefficients

2 −2 0

and expand. The

−1 −3 result is 32.

+3

2 −2

= [ 4 ] − [ −4 ] + 3[ 2 + 6 ] = [ 4 ] − [ −4 ] + 3[8 ] = 32

x= = − equations to

∆ 2

quickly find the

∆y 5 solutions to the

y= = −

∆ 2 system.

∆z 32

z= =− = −16

∆ 2

***

Example 1.7: Using matrices to find voltages in a circuit

We would like to know the voltage drop across R7. Three equations are

needed to describe this circuit. Using nodal analysis, we can model the

circuit in terms of the three significant places that the voltage changes,

v1 , v2 , and v3. Since the drop occurs off of v3, that’s the voltage we seek.

We can use a technique called nodal analysis, a technique where we

write equations for the voltages at each node, then solve the system of

simultaneous equations. Note in the above example, the nodes are labeled

v1, v2, and v3. We won’t go into the theory behind finding these equations,

but using nodal analysis, we find the following:

v1 − 12 v1 v1 − v2

+ + =0

5 10 5

v2 − v1 v2 − v3 v2

+ + =0

5 5 10

v3 − v2 v3

+ = 0

5 5

28 • THE APPLICATION OF MATHEMATICS IN THE ENGINEERING

This system of equations (on the left, below) can be transformed into

a matrix by transferring the coefficients (bottom right):

5v1 − 2 v2 = 24 5 −2 0 24

−2 5 −2 0

−2 v1 + 5v2 − 2 v3 = 0 To matrix form

− v2 + 2 v3 = 0 0 −1 2 0

We know:

v1 = v2 = v3 =

∆ ∆ ∆

We will simply use the three formulas to solve for each determinant:

∆v2 = 96 32 = 3V ;

∆v3 = 48 32 = 1.5V

***

The take-away message of matrices is that understanding matrices

conceptually is the key to knowing how to formulate the problem such

that software can understand it. While there is certainly a place for the

careful application of row operations, using them for practical problems is

usually not efficient.

Index

A Determinants, 19–23

Airport locations, mathematical Differential equations

model of, 3–4 convolution, 51–53

Algebraic equation, 34–35 defined, 29

Alternating current (AC) vs. direct integral transforms, 40–41

current (DC), 119 Laplace transform, 41–51

Aluminum and alloys, 101 solutions to, 31

American Association of State “typical”, 29–39

Highway Officials (AASHO), Differential operator, 30–31

102, 103 solving higher order equation

American Society of Civil using inspection, roots of,

Engineers (ASCE), 90 34–35

Angular frequency, 83 Direct current (DC), alternating

Axial force, finding, 96–98 current (AC) vs., 119

Distributed load, 105

B nonlinear, 112–113

Bridge 9340. See I-35 West replacing, 109–113

Mississippi Bridge Dot product, 16

Ductile iron, 101

C

Cables, modeling of, 83–89 E

Cascade connection, 77–79 Elastic modulus. See Young

“Centered at a”, meaning of, 5 modulus

Centroid, 106–109 Elasticity, 98

Complementary solution, 39 Electrical system

Concentration, 108 design of, 118–122

Control engineering, 80 Laplace transforms, 48–51

Controls, concept of, 76–80 Elementary functions, 9

Convolution, 51–53, 58 Elementary row operations,

Cramer’s rule, 23–28 13, 14

Engineering mathematics. See

D Systems, and mathematics

Delta function, 42 Equilibrium, requirements for,

Derivative operator, 30–31 90–98

130 • Index

F I

Failure analysis I-35 West Mississippi Bridge,

electrical system, design of, 89–90

118–122 structural loads, 105–113

I-35 West Mississippi Bridge, U10 plate

89–90 finite element analysis of,

finite element analysis of U10 113–118

plate, 113–118 material properties of,

material properties of U10 98–101

plate, 98–101 requirements for equilibrium

requirements for equilibrium in in, 90–98

U10 plate, 90–98 strength of materials, 101–105

strength of materials, U10 Identity matrix, 18–19

plate, 101–105 Impulse function, 42

structural loads, 105–113 Impulse response, 55–59

real-world problem, knee Initial value problems, 32–33

replacement, 122–125 Integral transforms, 40–41

Tacoma Narrows Bridge, 81–82

cables, modeling of, 83–89 K

simple harmonic motion, 83 Knee replacement, 122–125

Failure by shear, 100 materials common in, 126

Fibrous cartilage, 122–123

Finite element analysis (FEA), L

113–118 Laplace, Pierre-Simon, 41–42

Forced factoring, 46 Laplace transforms, 41–44

Fracture, 100 electrical system, 48–51

Free body diagram, 82 mechanical system, 47–48

Free coefficients, 25–27 more difficult, 45–47

Frequency, 83 simple, 44–45

Fundamental Theorem of Ligaments, 123–124

Calculus, 112 Linearity, 44, 46

G

Galloping Gertie. See Tacoma M

Narrows Bridge Maclaurin series, 5–10

Gauss–Jordan Elimination Marginal stability, 74–76

method, 14 Mass spring damper system,

General solution, 31–32 65–74

GeoGebra, 114 MATLAB, 12, 82

Graph. See Network Matrices, defined, 10

Gusset plate. See U10 plate Matrix multiplication, 15–18

properties of, 18–19

H Mechanical system, Laplace

Harmonic motion, 83 transforms, 47–48

Homogeneous differential Menisci, 123

equation, 31 Modeling systems

Hyaline cartilage, 122 of airport locations, 3–4

Index • 131

determinants, 19–23 Root-mean-square value, 119–122

matrices to solve problems, Roots, of differential operator, 34–37

10–19 Row echelon form, matrix, 14

model Row expansion method, 20

defined, 1 Rube Goldberg machine, 77

reasons for making, 1–2

note on creating, 2–3 S

Taylor and Maclaurin series, Series connection. See Cascade

5–10 connection

Multiple systems, 76–80 Shear, failure by, 100

Shear strength, 101

N Shear stress, 101

National Transportation Safety calculation of, 104

Board (NTSB), 90 Simple harmonic motion, 83

Network, 3, 4 Simple shear, 101

Nodal analysis, 27 Stability, 60–76

Nonhomogeneous differential Stabilization, 79

equation, 30, 37–39 Steel, 101

Numbers, meaning of, 12 Stress, 89

Stress–strain curve, 100

O Structural loads, 105–113

Overlapping poles, 74–76 Systems, and mathematics

connecting multiple systems

P and concept of controls,

Parallel connection, 77–78 76–80

Partial fractions, 68 failure analysis in. See Failure

Particular solution, 31–32 analysis

Pendulum, 33 finding output of, 59

Poisson’s Ratio, 99 pole-zero plot for. See Pole-zero

Pole-zero plot, 61, 63–65, 68, 70 plot

defined, 61 stability, 60–76

for hypothetical system, 64 transfer function and impulse

for marginally stable system, 65 response, 55–59

for mass spring damper, 68,

70, 72 T

for system, 63 Tacoma Narrows Bridge, 81–82

Principle of superposition, 55 cables, modeling of, 83–89

simple harmonic motion, 83

R Taylor series, 5–10

Radius of convergence, 6, 8 Transfer function, 55–59

Ratio test, 6 poles and zeroes of, 60–61

Rectangular load, 109 Transform table, 45

Reduced row echelon form, Trapezoidal rule, 114

matrix, 14 TrapezoidalSum function, 115

132 • Index

Typical differential equations, Voltages in circuit, matrices and, 27

29–39

W

U Washington Toll Bridge

U10 plate Authority, 82

finite element analysis of,

113–118

free body diagram of, 92 Y

material properties of, 98–101 Yield strength, 100–101

requirements for equilibrium in, Yield stress, 89

90–98 Young modulus, 98–99

strength of materials, 101–105

Ultimate strength, 100–101 Z

Unit step function, 42 Zero input solution, 55

Unsimplifying process, 46 Zero state solution, 55

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