A medical examiner reviewed a homicide and found that the temp. of the body was 82 degrees F. Make up additional, although plausible, data that is necessary to determine an approximate time of death of the dead person using Newton’s Law of Cooling.

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- Sep 27th 2007, 08:25 AMIdeasmanUrgent: Newtons Law of Cooling
A medical examiner reviewed a homicide and found that the temp. of the body was 82 degrees F. Make up additional, although plausible, data that is necessary to determine an approximate time of death of the dead person using Newton’s Law of Cooling.

- Sep 27th 2007, 09:22 AMCaptainBlack
You need to assume the ambient temprature say 70F, and the original body

temprature say 98.6F. You will also have to assume a cooling rate constant,

$\displaystyle k$ so:

$\displaystyle

\frac{dT}{dt}=k(T-T_{amb})

$

Then solve this to find the time taken for the temp to fall to 82F

TonL - Sep 27th 2007, 09:27 AMtopsquark
Here is Newton's Law of Cooling:

$\displaystyle \frac{dT}{dt} = -k(T - T_{env})$

The solution is

$\displaystyle T(t) = (T_0 - T_{env})e^{-kt} + T_{env}$

where $\displaystyle T_0 = T(0)$, $\displaystyle T_{env}$ is the environment temperature, and k is a constant.

What do you think $\displaystyle T_0$, the initial temperature of the body, should be? What should $\displaystyle T_{env}$ be? Finally, (and this is the tough one) what do you think k should be? (You might try to look this one up on the internet.)

-Dan