1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
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: Temperature is inversely proportional to position away from center

  1. Jan 21, 2014 #1
    A metal sphere with center at origin has its temperature that is inversely proportional to the position from center.

    At point P(1,2,2) temperature is found to be 120 degrees

    What is the rate of temperature change in direction of Q(2,1,3)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 21, 2014 #2
    Here is my answer.

    The center of the metal sphere has a high temperature larger than 120 degrees.

    [T(x,y,z)] = -A (x^2 + y^2 + z^2) + C

    Where A is the proportionality constant
    And C is the temperature at center of metal sphere.

    Gradient of
    [T(1,2,2)] dot <1/rad3, -1/rad3, 1/rad3>
    (-80 rad3)/9

    Based upon an A = proportionality constant = -120/9 = -40/3
    (This part is highly ambiguous to me but I just tried it for its quick simplicity)

    My final answer is (-80 rad3)/9

    The book says my answer is INCORRECT by a factor of 1/2
  4. Jan 21, 2014 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Have you stated the problem correctly? If the temperature is inversely proportional to the distance from the center you would start with$$
    T = \frac k {\sqrt{x^2+y^2+z^2}}$$
  5. Jan 21, 2014 #4
    Oh... I did state the problem correctly.

    I simply made the mistake of setting this equation up as a negative direct proportion.

    Thank you.

    I'll try it out again.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted