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MA 2930, Jan 26, 2011 Worksheet 1

1.
Write down in your own words what a dierential equation is. What information does it give you? Can you think of at least two dierent ways of specifying a dierential equation? A dierential equation is a relation among a function and its derivatives. It tells you how the values of a function and its derivatives are related at any value of the independent variable. Two dierent ways of specifying a dierential equation are via an algebraic equation and a direction eld.

2.
Suppose someone gives you the direction eld of a dierential equation. How would you nd its solutions? Start at any point (corresponding to an initial value) and follow the arrows from that point on; youll get the solution (aka integral curve) passing through that point.

3.
(a) Is the function y(t) = t a solution of y + 4y + 3y = t? To check if it is a solution plug it into the two sides of the equation and see if they come out equal: if they do, it is a solution, otherwise its not. In the given problem the left hand side gives (t) + 4(t) + 3t = 0 + 0 + 3t = 3t whereas the right had side is t, so the y = t is not a solution. (b) Which value of the constant r would make y(x) = erx a solution of y + 2y = 0? If y = erx is a solution it should satisfy the equation, therefore (erx ) + 2erx = 0, i.e., (r + 2)erx = 0. Since erx is never zero, r = 2.

4.
Look at the direction elds in gures 1.1.5 and 1.1.6 in the text (page 9). (1) What happens to the values of y as time passes if you start at (a) y = 1, (b) y = 2, (c) y = 3? 1

In both graphs y = 2 is the equilibrium point; if y(0) = 2, y(t) = 2 for all times t. If y(0) = 1, with time y(t) approaches the value 2 in 1.1.5 whereas it moves away from 2 towards in 1.1.5 If y(0) = 3, with time y(t) approaches the value 2 in 1.1.5 whereas it moves away from 2 towards in 1.1.6 (2) Sketch some solutions (integral curves.) What do the shapes of the solutions seem to be? If you sketch the solutions (by following the arrows from a starting point), they seem to be exponential in shape, decaying in 1.1.5 and growing in 1.1.6. (3) Match the direction elds with the dierential equations from among the choices given on page 8 (a j). Then solve the equations. Do the graphs of functions you nd match the shapes of the integral curves? (4) Apply the initial conditions of part (1) to your solutions and verify your answers in part (1). For 1.1.5, note that y = 2 is an equilibrium point, so in its dierential equation y (2) 0. That leaves us with (c) and (j). Now note that when y < 2 (say at y = 1) the slopes in the direction eld are positive, so in the dierential equation y > 0 when y < 2. This is true of the choice (j), so the matching di. eq. is y = 2 y. dy To solve it note that its separable: 2y = dt, so when we integrate, we get ln |2 y| = t + c, so |2 y| = cet , since the sign of (2 y) can be absorbed in the sign of the unknown constant c, we have 2 y = cet , i.e., y(t) = 2 cet . Since y(0) = 2 c, we can say y(t) = 2 (2 y(0))et . Its clear that (a) if y(0) = 1, y(t) = 2et which approaches 2 from below as t , (b) if y(0) = 2, y(t) = 2 for all t, and (c) if y(0) = 3, y(t) = 2 + et which approaches 2 from above as t , all of which agrees with the conclusions in part (1). Similar analysis applies to 1.1.6 which matches with the equation y = y 2.

5.
A raindrop evaporates at a rate proportional to its surface area. Suppose the proportionality factor k is 2ml1/3 /s. How long would it take raindrop to completely disappear if it had 1 ml at the beginning of its career?

Assuming the raindrop is spherical, the volume of the raindrop (V) and 4 its surface area (A) can expressed in terms of its radius (r) as V = 3 r3 and A = 4r2 . The rate of change of water in the drop is the same as the rate of change of its volume, so the problem gives the following dierential equation: dV = kA = 2A dt Expressing everything in terms of radius we get d 4 3 ( r ) = 2(4r2 ) dt 3 i.e., 4r2 i.e., dr = 2 dt 3 3 whose solution is r(t) = 2t + c. c = r(0) = ( 4 V (0))1/3 = ( 4 )1/3 ml1/3 . Using this value of c we get the time when the raindrop disappears, T, as 3 2T + c = 0, so T = c/2 = ( 32 )1/3 s dr = 2(4r2 ) dt