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Homework Help: Engineering Project Proposal

  1. Oct 19, 2009 #1

    I am trying to find a project that I can model using differential equations and matlab, that I may also be able to create in the real world and verify my computer models and predictions. This is more for an introductory course, learning for my first time how to use matlab.

    I am having difficulty finding ideas, I want something that is interesting, but hasn't been done a million times.

    Some examples: modeling hot air balloon lift, modeling and verifying pneumatic gun trajectory and distance, etc.

    Most of the ideas I come up with are simple optimization problems, i.e. plug in a value here, and get a value there. I am looking for something more dynamic.

    Thanks you very much in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 19, 2009 #2
    Define "Dynamic"

    Here's an idea: You can model a simple shock absorber, meaning a shape connected to a spring, with the shape inserted into a liquid. In an "ideal" world, the spring would keep the shape in a sinusoidal motion after a force is applied. Adding the energy-absorbing liquid will instead turn the system into an overdamped oscillator, with x = mx'' + bx' + idon'tremember where b is the dampening coefficient of the liquid - finding b is half the trouble, believe you me, and unless you're specifically studying fluid dynamics, I recommend that you ignore b, and instead use MatLab to find the value of B that will let your equation give the same results as your experimental data.
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