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Applications of Linear Equations: Growth and DecayProblems The initial value problem dxdt = kx, x ( t 0 ) = x 0 (1) where k is a constant, occurs in many physical theories involving eithergrowth or decay. For instance, in biology it models the growth of bacteria or asmall population of animals that increases at a rate proportional to the amountpresent at any tim e.In physics the IVP (1) models the process of estimating the amount of radioact ive substance remaining at any time t or the temperature of a coolingbody. Similarly in chemistry, it may be used to e stimate the amount oschemicals that remain at any time during certain chemical p rocesses. Applications of First Order Ordinary Differential Equations – p. 1/1 Bacterial Growth Problem:A culture has N 0 number of bacteria. At t = 1 hour the number of bacteria is measured to be (3 / 2) N 0 . If the rate of growth is proportional to thenumber of bacteria present, determin e the time necessary for the number of bacteria to triple.Answer:The associated initial value problem is dN dt = kN, N (0) = N 0 (2)

which has the solution N ( t ) = N 0 e kt . Since N (1) = 32 N 0 , we have 32 N 0 = N 0 e k ⇒ k = ln ( 32 ) = 0 . 4055 . Thus N ( t ) = N 0 e 0 . 4055 t . Suppose that the bacteria population triples in time t = t 1 . Then 3 N 0 =

N 0 e 0 . 4055 t 1 ⇒ t 1 = ln 30 . 4055 ≈ 2 . 71 hours . Applications of First Order Ordinary Differential Equations – p. 2/1 Carbon Dating Problem:A fossilized bone is found to contain 1 / 1000 the original amount of radioactive carbon C-14. Given the the half-life of C-14 in approximately5600 years, determine the age of the fossil.Answer:If A 0 be the original amount of C-14, then the associated IVP is onceagain of the same type as in the previous problem and it has the solution A ( t ) = A 0 e kt . Since A ( t ) = A 0 / 2 when t = 5600 years, we have A 0

2= A 0 e 5600 t ⇒ k = − ln 25600= − 0 . 00012378 . Therefore the process satis es the equation, A ( t ) = A 0 e − 0 . 00012378 t . Thus if the age of the fossil be t 1 years, then A 0 1000= A 0 e − 0 . 00012378 t 1 ⇒ t 1 = ln 10000 . 00012378 ≈ 55 , 800 years

. Applications of First Order Ordinary Differential Equations – p. 3/1 Electrical Circuits Problem:A 12 volt battery is connected to a simple series circuit in which theinductance is 1 / 2 henry and the resistance is 10 ohms. Determine the current i if the initial current is zero.In a series circuit containing only a resistor an d an inductor, Kirchoff’s secondlaw states that the sum of the voltage drop across the inductor ( L didt ) and thevoltage drop across the resistor ( iR ) is the same as the impressed voltage( E ( t ) ) on the circuit. Thus the current ow i ( t ) satis es the linear equation Ldidt + Ri = E ( t ) (3) Thus the given problem gives rise to the IVP 12 didt + 10 i = 12 , i (0) = 0 (4) Upon solving it we get the current ow as i ( t ) = 65 − 65 e − 20

t . Applications of First Order Ordinary Differential Equations – p. 4/1 first order differential equation (applications) Download this Document for FreePrintMobileCollectionsReport Document Info and Rating mathsScience Mathematics shailendra_iitg