<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
This module is part of a collection of modules that were developed to support laboratory activities in a Precalculus for PreEngineers (MATH 1508) at the University of Texas at El Paso. Contained in this module of applications of quadratic equations in various fields of engineering and science. These include the motion of an object under constant acceleration, quantitative management, and break-even analysis.

Quadratic equations


Quadratic equations play an important role in the modeling of many physical situations. Finding the roots of quadratic equations is a necessary skill. Being able to interpret these roots is an important ability that is important in understanding physical problems. In this module, we will present a number of applications of quadratic equations in several fields of engineering.

Determining the roots of quadratic equations

A quadratic equation has the following form

ax 2 + bx + c = 0 size 12{ ital "ax" rSup { size 8{2} } + ital "bx"+c=0} {}

Because a quadratic equation involves a polynomial of order 2, it will have two roots. In general, a quadratic equation will either have two roots that are both real or have two roots that are both complex. For the present module, we will restrict our attention to quadratic equations that have two real roots.

There are three methods that are effective in solving for the roots of a quadratic equation. They are:

  • Solution by factoring
  • Solution by completing the square
  • Solution by the quadratic formula

The applications that follow will include examples of each of these three methods of solution.

Motion of an object under uniform acceleration

We will begin our study of quadratic equations by considering an application that you will likely encounter later in physics and mechanical engineering classes. Let us consider an object that is subject to a uniform acceleration. By uniform, we mean an acceleration that is constant. Such an object might be an automobile, an aircraft, a rocket, etc. The motion of an object subjected to uniform acceleration can be expressed mathematically by the following equation.

s ( t ) = 1 2 a t 2 + v 0 t + s 0 size 12{s \( t \) = { {1} over {2} } `a`t rSup { size 8{2} } +v rSub { size 8{0} } t+s rSub { size 8{0} } } {}

where s ( t ) represents the position of the object as function of time t ,

a represents the constant acceleration of the object,

v 0 represents the value of the object’s velocity at time t = 0, and

s 0 represents the position of the object at time t = 0.

An equation of this sort is called an equation of motion . We will illustrate its use in the following exercise.

Example 1: For our first example, let us consider a dragster on a drag strip of length one-quarter mile. For time t<0, the dragster is at rest at the starting line. At time = 0, the driver depresses his gas pedal to produce a uniform acceleration of 50 m/s 2 . Under these conditions, how far will the dragster travel in 1 second?

Because the dragster travels in a horizontal direction, we will represent its distance from the starting point as a fuction of time as x ( t ). We also know that the value for the acceleration ( a ) is 30 m / s 2 . We can incorporate these changes in equation (1) to produce a new equation of motion for the dragster.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Can someone give me problems that involes radical expressions like area,volume or motion of pendulum with solution

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Math 1508 (laboratory) engineering applications of precalculus. OpenStax CNX. Aug 24, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11337/1.3
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Math 1508 (laboratory) engineering applications of precalculus' conversation and receive update notifications?