Phoebus, Ronald and Cole Reilly. 2004, Differential Equations and the Parachute Problem. Presentation 10 May 2004.
Abstract: The parachute problem is a classical first semester differential equations problem often introduced when first learning to solve particle motion problems. The idea of this application is based on a model for the motion of a skydiver when the coefficient of air resistance changes between free-fall and the final steady-state descent with the parachute fully deployed. The authors will present an analysis of this problem, as well as explain why many of the models posed in basic DE textbooks are not physically realistic. We will also propose an improved model that is based on real-life information about skydiving.
Key words: modeling, differential equations, mathematical modeling
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