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Math Help - Need Help With Sinusoidal Graphs

  1. #1
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    Need Help With Sinusoidal Graphs

    Hi all, I was sick and missed a day of pre-cal, and i missed an important lecture on sinusoidal graphs and word problems. I have a worksheet that has two problems, and I'm going to put the first one on so someone can help me and hopefully that will give me a jumpstart for doing the second. here it is:

    fox population problem
    Naturalists find that the populations of some kinds of predatory animal's vary periodically. Assume that the population T of foxes in a certain forest varies sinusoidally with time. Records started being kept when time t = 0 years. a minimum number, 200 foxes, occurred when t = 2.9 years. the next maximum, 800 foxes, occurred at t = 5.1 years.

    1. sketch a graph of this sinusoid
    2. write an equation expressing the number of foxes as a function of time, t.
    3. predict the population when t = 7.
    4. foxes are declared to be an endangered species when their population drops below 300. between what two nonnegative values of t were foxes first endangered?
    5. show on your graph that your answers to part 4 are correct.

    all help/tips appreciated
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  2. #2
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    Use N = A\sin B(T-C)+D

    From your min,max values D= 500, A=300, do you know how?

    For (T,N) use (2.9,200) , (5.1,800) to find B and C. Then you should be able to sktech it.
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  3. #3
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    Have you at least sketched the graph yet?
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  4. #4
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    Look at the "basic" y= sin(x). That has period 2\pi, has a maximum of 1, at \pi/2, then goes back to 0 at \pi, goes to a minimum of -1 at 3\pi/2 and back to 0 at 2\pi. Notice that the distance between the max and min, \pi/2 to 3\pi/2 is \pi, half the period.

    You are told that the minimum, 200, occured at t= 2.9 and the maximum, 800, at t= 5.1. The difference between those two times is 5.1- 2.9= 2.2 years so the period must be 2(2.2)= 4.4 years. In order to make x= 2\pi when t= 4.4 we need x= \frac{2\pi}{4.4}t. But then when t= 5.1, x= \frac{2\pi}{4.4}5.1= \fra{10.2}{4.4}\pi= 2.32\pi (approximately). But we want it to be equal to \pi/2= .5\pi so we need to add .5- 2.32= 2.68\pi: we want sin(\frac{10.2}{4.4}t+ 2.68\pi). The midpoint between 200 and 800 is (200+ 800)/2= 500. Since sine itself is centered on y= 0 and goes from -1 to 1, we want to multiply sine by (800- 500)= (500- 200)= 300 and then add 500.

    Of course, Pickslides method works too. Do it both ways and see if you get the same thing.
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  5. #5
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    thanks for the info i was able to piece it together and work it out! thanks
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