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    A metal plate is located in an xy-plane such that the temperature T at (x,y) is inversely proportional to the distance from the origin, and the temperature at point P(3,4) is 100 (i.e. the temperature at any point (x,y) is described by the function

    T(x,y) = 500/(x^2 + y^2)^1/2

    a) in what direction does the T increase most rapidly at P? Write the vector representing that direction explicitly.

    b) Find the rate of change of T at P in the direction i + j.

    c) In what direction does T decrease most rapidly at P?

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com December 15, 2022, 4:10 pm ad1c9bdddf

    Solution Preview

    The gradient of T at (3,4) will give the maximum rate of change of T at (3,4)
    grad(T(x,y)) = (del(T)/del(x)).i + (del(T)/del(y)).j
    where, del(T)/del(x) is the partial derivative of T with respect to x.

    T = 500/(x^2 + y^2)^1/2
    del(T)/del(x) = 500x/(x^2 + ...

    Solution Summary

    This shows how to determine direction of increase (and the vector), rate of change, and direction of decrease.