How do you describe a real life situation that could be modeled by a function?


Quick Answer

Mathematical functions are derived for the purpose of describing a set of unknown values the occur in everyday life. Physics is perhaps the best coursework to illuminate how functions can play an intimate role in even the most unlikely of events. The equation x = vt + 1/2at^2 not only describes motion, but it also covers a wide array of subjects relating to growth.

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Full Answer

  1. Understand the variables

    The term "x" is simply the result of the function. "Vt" is the velocity multiplied by time, which describes the growth over a set time. Therefore, "1/2at^2" is acceleration multiplied by time, which describes the growth due to acceleration.

  2. Assign values to the variables

    Choose a suitable value for both velocity and acceleration. These terms should have the same units. This is the same for the time increments as well, though the choice to use seconds over minutes is always a valid choice.

  3. Plug in the values

    Plug in all the values for the variables in the correct places. Solve the equation from left to right according to the order of operations. Make sure all the signs and units remain consistent throughout the function to get the approximated value resulting from this equation.

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