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Newton's law of cooling with multiple containers DE's

  1. Mar 25, 2012 #1
    I've been trying to figure out how to solve the following problem:

    "A metal bar is placed in a container (call it container A) which is inside of a much larger container (call it container B), whose temperature can be assumed to be constant. Find the function for the temperature of the metal bar at time t."

    First, I represent the temperature of container A as x(t) and the metal bar as y(t). The constant temperature of container B is TB. I assume that the temperature of the bar is proportional to the temperature of container A but the temperature of container A is proportional to both TB and the temperature of the bar. Then

    dx/dt = k1(TB - x) + k2(y - x) and
    dy/dt = k3(x - y)

    I was told that I need to make a substitution to solve this, but I can't seem to take this DE down to two variables. Any help would be appreciated.
  2. jcsd
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