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18.311 Principles of Applied Mathematics


Spring 2009

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18.311 Principles of Applied Mathematics, S2009. Instructor: Aslan Kasimov. Name:


Please make this your title page and write your name in the box above. Excluding exceptional circumstances, late homework will not be accepted. Make an extra eort to explain your solutions with maximum clarity. Points will be deducted for unclear/incomplete explanations. Each problem is worth 10 points.

Problem Set #1 (due in class Thursday Feb. 12). 1.1. In the point explosion problem considered in class, determine how the shock speed and shock pressure decay with time and with distance from the center. 1.2. On dimensional grounds, the solution of the initial-boundary-value problem for the heat equation ut = uxx , u (x, 0) = 0, u (0, t) = u0 . should be of the form: u = u0 f (x2 /t). Determine this function f . Choose k = 1 and u0 = 1 and then make a sketch of u (x, t) as a function of x at several dierent times. 1.3. It seems reasonable to assume that the power P required to keep a ship of length l moving at a constant speed V , depends not only on l and V , but also on the water density , gravitational acceleration g , the kinematic viscosity of water . Determine the form of that dependence using dimensional arguments. 1.4. Across a cell membrane of thickness w the mass concentration of a biochemical molecule is Ci on the inside of the cell and C0 on the outside. Let d be the diusion constant of the membrane (in units of length2 /time). Using dimensional analysis, nd the relationship for the ux of the molecules, i.e. the mass of molecules crossing a unit area of the membrane per unit time, as a function of the other quantities. 1.5. A ball of mass m is tossed upward with initial velocity V . Assuming the force caused by air resistance is proportional to the square of the velocity of the ball and the gravitational eld is constant, formulate an initial value problem for the height of the ball at any time t. Choose characteristic length and time scales and recast the problem in dimensionless form. 1.6. A hydraulic jump is a popular phenomenon not only in your kitchen sink, but also around MIT Math department. Consider this experiment: a thin jet of water strikes vertically a large horizontal plate so that the water spreads over the plate in radial direction. It is observed, as you can conrm experimentally in your kitchen, that the depth of uid undergoes a sudden jump at some distance R from the point of jet impact. As it turns out, under a wide range of ow rates Q (volume of water per unit time), the jump location R depends on Q, the uid viscosity (length2 /time), and gravitational acceleration g as follows: R = cQ5/8 3/8 g 1/8 , where c is some number. Can you get this scaling from dimensional analysis?