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Course Code : MEC 500

Course : Numerical Methods with Applications

(Chapter 1 & 2)

(Chapter 1 & 2)


(a) Use zero through third order Taylor series expansions to approximate f(3) for

f(x) = 25x3 6x2 + 7x 88

using a base point at x = 1. Compute the true percent relative error for each prediction.
(20 marks)

(b) Use forward and backward difference approximations of O(h) and a centered difference approximation
of O(h2) to estimate the first derivative of the function examined in Part (a). Evaluate the derivative at x
= 2 using step size of h = 0.2. Compare your results with the true value of the derivative.
(30 marks)


Consider a function given by f(x) = -0.1x3 + 0.15x2 x + 0.8

(a) Centered difference approximation of the first derivative can expressed as

Where h is the step size. For the given function, determine the first derivative using the centered
difference approximation at x = 2.0 with the step size of 0.5. Discuss your result. Also compute the
percent true relative error, !t.
(15 marks)

(b) Use zero through third-order series expansions to predict f(2) using the base point at x = 1. Also
compute the true and approximate percent relative errors for each approximation, i.e. !t and !a. Discuss
your results.
(30 marks)

(c) What is the order of Taylor series expansions that will give us the exact solution for the above function
at any x? Explain.
(5 marks)

(a) Three different methods to approximate the first derivative are Forward Difference Method (FDM),
Backward Difference Method (BDM) and Centered Difference Method (CDM). Discuss briefly the
differences and sketch graphs to support your answers.
(10 marks)

(b) A simple steel beam with one end fixed and the other end free has a 30ft length. The beam carries a
uniform load of 50 lb/ft, including its own weight. Given that the modulus of elasticity, E and the
moment of inertia, I are 1.5 x 108 lb/ft2 and 0.06 ft4, respectively. While associated errors, ! of the
variables involved are 2 lb/ft, 0.1 ft, 0.01 x 108 lb/ft2 and 0.0006 ft4. Estimate the resulting error in the
maximum defection, y. Refer Table Q3.
(40 marks)

Table Q3


(a) There are two major classes of numerical methods to determine the roots of the equation which are
bracketing methods and open methods. Define the differences and support your answers with
(10 marks)

(b) Fig. Q4 (a) shows a uniform beam subject to a linearly increasing distributed load. The equation for the
resulting elastic curve is (as in Fig. Q4 (b))

y= wo (-x5 + 2L2x3 L4x)

120 EIL
Use bisection method to determine the point of maximum deflection (that is, the value of x where
dy/dx = 0). Then, determine the value of the maximum deflection using given equation. Specified
tolerance is 10%. Use the following parameter values in your computation: L = 600 cm, E = 50 x 103
kN/cm2, I = 30 x 103 cm4, and w0 = 2.5 kN/cm. (Hint: start your assumption with xl = 0 and xu = 500)

Figure Q4
(40 marks)


Real mechanical systems may involve the deflection of non-linear spring. In Fig. Q5, a mass m is
released a distance h above a non-linear spring. The resistance force F of the spring is given by

Conservation of energy can be used to show that

Given the following parameter values:

k1 = 50,000 g/s2, k2 = 40 g/ (s2 m0.5), m = 90 g, g = 9.81 m/s2, and h = 0.45m. Solve for d by using any
bracketing or open method. (Hint: Sketch a graph with 0.01 scales to predict true root)

Figure Q5
(50 marks)


The upward velocity of a rocket can be computed by the following formula:

v =u ln( mo ) - gt
mo qt

where v = upward velocity, u = the velocity at which fuel is expelled relative to the rocket, mo = the
initial mass of the rocket at time t = 0, q = the fuel consumption rate, and g = the downward
acceleration of gravity (assume constant = 9.81 m/s2). If u = 2000 m/s, mo = 150,000 kg, and q = 2700
kg/s, compute the time at which v = 750 m/s. (Hint: t is somewhere between 10s and 50s).

Determine your result so that it is within 1% of the true value. Check your answer.
(50 marks)


A missile leaves the ground with an initial velocity v0 forming an angle "0 with the vertical as shown in Fig.
Q7. The maximum desired altitude is "R where R is the radius of the earth. The laws of mechanics can be used
to show that

Where ve = the escape velocity of the missile. It is desired to fire the missile and reach the design maximum
altitude within an accuracy of +- 2%. Determine the range of values for "0 if ve/v0 = 2 and # = 0.25.

Figure Q7

Use Taylor series expansion to approximate the function,

f(x) = x .
at x = 2.0 and the base point is 1.0 with an accuracy to 3 d.ps. Also calculate the true percent relative error for
each of the orders. Then, repeat the problem but use the base point as 1.5. Discuss your answers.
(50 marks)


You are designing a spherical tank (Fig. Q9) to hold water for a small village in a developing country. The
volume of liquid it can hold can be computed as

where V = volume (m3), h = depth of water in tank (m), and R the tank radius (m). If R = 3m, to what depth
must the tank be filled so that it holds 30 m3? Use three iterations of the false position method to determine
your answer. Determine the approximate relative error after each iteration.

Figure Q9
(50 marks)


Determine the highest real root of

f(x) = 2x3 11.7x2 + 17.7x 5

(a) Graphically
(b) Fixed-point iteration method (three iteration, x0 = 3).Note: make certain that you develop a solution
that converges on the root.
(c) Newton-Raphson method (three iteration, x0 = 3).
(d) Secant method (three iteration, xi-1 = 3, x0 = 4).
(50 marks)