Author David Graser, Yavapai College, Prescott, AZ (David_Graser@yc.edu)
Projects involving Newton’s Law of Cooling are fairly common. This project allows the student to calculate an estimate of a time of death based on the temperature of the dead body. The full project allows the student to estimate the time of death using a rule of thumb and Newton’s Law of Cooling. The goal is for the students to compare and contrast the estimates. Each student has a different temperature at which the body is found based on the number of letters in their name or a similar identifying aspect.
- Content Area – College Algebra, Precalculus
- Time Frame -2 to 3 weeks with mini-lectures
- Published – September 9, 2008
- Keywords – piecewise linear function, Newton’s Law of Cooling, solving exponential equations
Graphing a Function on a TI-83 (Video)
Graphing a Function Using Excel (Video)
Changing a Graph in Excel (Video)
Adding Axes Titles To Your Excel Graph (Video)
Adding Chart Titles To Your Excel Graph (Video)
Handout – Worked Out Example on Piecewise Linear Function (PDF)
- This project can be broken down into a rule of thumb project (piecewise linear functions) or a Newton’s Law of Cooling project (exponential functions, solving exponential equations).