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Optimization minimize the amount of material used.

  1. Jan 4, 2012 #1
    I am having a lot of trouble with this problem. I don't actually know where to begin.

    A box with a square base and open top must have a volume of 62,500 cm3. Find the dimensions of the box that minimize the amount of material used.

    Need to find:
    sides of base cm
    height cm

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 4, 2012 #2


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    The usual place to start is to name your variables, say the height of the box and the length of the sides. Then can you write formulas for the volume of the box and area of materials used in terms of those variables?
  4. Jan 5, 2012 #3
    Oh boy, I remember when I started doing maths that I had problems trying to turn words into maths

    What I did was sketched the problem out along with all variables and what they represent.
    Then write down your equations, how do I find volume? what restrictions does the statement 'square base and open top' place on the variables? what will give me the ammount of material used?

    Once you've got everything written down, then you start with your calculus

    If you're anything like me, once you've got this down correctly you'll end up loving doing those elementary optimization problems!
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