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WEEK #3, Lecture 3: Non-Linear Equations Linear Review We have been solving equations like x − 4y = 10 2x − 3y = 4 only we have done this for over 100,000 equations and variables! To manage this feat, we have relied on the linearity of the equations (no x2 , ln(x), sin(x), etc. terms) In particular, we had a square matrix of coeﬃcients, A, which linear algebra theorems guaranteed (for det(A) = 0) that • a solution exists to AX = B, • the solution is unique, and • Gaussian Elimination will ﬁnd the solution Non-Linear Equations If equations are non-linear, all bets are oﬀ. • There may be no solution • There may be multiple or an inﬁnite number of solutions • There is no guarantee we can ﬁnd a solution, even if it exists Worse yet, we will encounter signiﬁcant challenges with even a single variable, let alone thousands of them. Compare the diﬃculty in solving these two single-variable equations. Linear: 5x = 10 Non-linear: ex = x + 5 Some types of non-linear equations can be solved algebraically. Find, by hand or with the help of a calculator, the solutions to the following equations. x2 + 2x + 3 = 0 log10 (x) = 3 sin(3x) = cos(3x) Unfortunately, solving using algebra requires understanding of how to manipulate par- ticular functions. Worse yet, equations can be simply too complex to solve algebraically. Try to solve the following equations by hand: sin(3x) = x xe−x = 5 In these more diﬃcult cases, if we want a solution we must resort to numerical meth- ods, which are all fancy versions of guess and check! This means numerical solutions are a poor second choice: • Numerical solutions give no insight into solution (existence, patterns) • Numerical solving usually requires some amount of trial and error. Example - Trajectories To generate a motivation for solving non-linear equations, we are going to simulate the launch a car oﬀ the end of a ramp. The launch parameters are v0 , y0 , and θ0 . Write the equations for the position of x and y as functions of time. Use those functions to write the trajectory in the form y = f (x). Exercise: Write a MATLAB script, L3 1.m that plots the trajectory of the car. Set • y0 = 3 m, • v0 = 20 m/s, and • θ0 = 30 degrees. and choose the x interval so it shows the impact point. Exercise: Add a horizontal line on the trajectory graph that shows the ground level, y = 0. Draw it in black. Landing Point Now that we have our trajectory in the form y = f (x), an obvious follow-up question is Knowing v0 , y0 , and θ0 , what is value of x at impact with the ground? Express this question mathematically. Is the equation you get linear in x? What kind of equation is this in x? Polynomial Roots in MATLAB Polynomials are an incredibly important subset of non-linear functions. They are special in that tools exist to ﬁnd all of their roots in one command. Exercise: Look up the roots command in MATLAB, and use it to ﬁnd the impact point of the car, given y0 , v0 and θ0 . Exercise: In the L3 1.m script, add the solving for the impact point, and draw a dot at the impact location on top of the trajectory graph. Launch Angle - Ballistics We now now how to determine the impact point, given the details of the launch. There is a related ballistics problem, with practical consequences on battleﬁelds around the world. Given the launch velocity, height, and a target x, what launch angle should be used? Can we solve this new version of the problem using roots in MATLAB? Exercise: Set y0 = 3, v0 = 20. Experiment to ﬁnd a launch angle that lands the car at x = 30. Eﬃciency We notice that there is an inescapable element of trial-and-error in our search for the right θ0 . To avoid unnecessary work, and to maximize our overall eﬃciency, we should consider both • how long it takes us to code our approach, • how quickly our program produces an answer, and • how accurate the program’s answer is. We will look more deeply into these ideas next class.

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posted: | 6/4/2010 |

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