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Math Help - Newton's law of Cooling word problem.

  1. #1
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    Newton's law of Cooling word problem.

    Hello everyone! I am new here and I am in my first year of calculus in college. I am having trouble on a pretty difficult question that I have spent hours trying to understand, but I just canít get it. I have asked several tutors and they canít figure it out! So I am hoping you guys can help me get an answer here or at least some direction. I am getting really frustrated!
    The question is:
    A potato is put into a hot oven, maintained at a constant temperature of 200 degrees C. Suppose that at time t=30 minutes, the temperature of the potato is 120 degrees C and is increasing at a constant rate of 2 degrees C/minute. Newtonís Law of Cooling (or in this case, warming) implies that the temperature of the potato at the time t will be given by the following function:
    T(t):200 - ae^(-bt)
    (ae is raised to the -bt power)
    Find a and b.
    HELP :[
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  2. #2
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    Re: Newton's law of Cooling word problem :[

    Whynot substitute to points into the equation,

    for (t,T) = (30, 120) & given the increase is 2 degrees per minute (30+1, 120+2), two equations, to solve two unknowns.
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  3. #3
    Grand Panjandrum
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    Re: Newton's law of Cooling word problem :[

    Quote Originally Posted by pickslides View Post
    Whynot substitute to points into the equation,

    for (t,T) = (30, 120) & given the increase is 2 degrees per minute (30+1, 120+2), two equations, to solve two unknowns.
    Except that is only approximate, it gives ~1% error in both a and b.

    (The error could have been made smaller by using 30+0.0001 and 120+0.0002 rather than +1 and 2 used in your post)

    CB
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  4. #4
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    Re: Newton's law of Cooling word problem.

    Thanks guys, I finally was able to solve it!
    Last edited by mr fantastic; August 6th 2011 at 04:13 AM.
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