Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Applied Maxima and Minima

  1. Jan 18, 2005 #1
    Hello all

    You are planning to make an open box from a 30- by 42 inch piece of sheet metal by cutting congruent squares from the corners and folding up the sides. You want the box to have the largest possible volume.

    (a) What size square should you cut from each corner? (gice side length of square)

    (b) What is the largest possible volume the box will have

    I know [tex] V(x) = x(30-2x)(42-2x) [/tex]

    So [tex] V'(x) = (30 - 2 x) (42 - 2 x) - 2 x (42 - 2 x) - 2 x (30 - 2 x) [/tex]

    I find the critical points, however how do I find the maximum volume. Also I am not sure how you would find what square size you should cut. Shouldn't you find the maximum volume?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 18, 2005 #2
    Both questions are really solved simultaneously. You are trying to find the value of x that makes V(x) take on the greatest value, thus that value for x will be the length of the side of the square you cut.

    Here are some questions to get you started:
    How do you find local extrema of a function?
    How do you find absloute max?
    what values of x make V(x) meaningless?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook