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Homework Help: Is this optimization problem missing information?

  1. Aug 1, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A 5324 cubic foot tank with square base and an open top is to be constructed of a sheet of steel of a given thickness. Find the length of a side of the square base of the tank with minimum weight.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I'm usually fairly decent at optimization questions. Is this solvable with the given information? It seems to me to be missing something because no values or relationships are ever assigned to weight. I don't even know where to start; I can easily set up an equation for volume, but I also need to find an equation for weight. If you think it's solvable, please do not give me the solution. Just nudge me in the correct direction. :)
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 1, 2011 #2

    I like Serena

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    The weight of the tank is some constant times the surface area of the tank.
    When you try to solve it, you'll find this constant is irrelevant. :)
  4. Aug 1, 2011 #3
    Thanks, I was able to solve it perfectly. :P
  5. Aug 1, 2011 #4

    I like Serena

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    You're welcome! :smile:
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