Newton's Law of Cooling

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Newton's Law of Cooling models the cooling (or heating) of an object which is placed in a surrounding medium (for example, a hot pizza that is taken out of the oven and allowed to cool on the kitchen counter). The formula is
where u(x) represents the temperature of the object at time x, I is the initial temperature of the object, and T is the temperature of the surrounding medium. k is a cooling rate determined by the physical nature of the object, the container holding the object, etc.

The applet below illustrates the graph of u(x) and shows how changes in the parameters I, T, and k affect the graph. Notice that as time x ->, the temperature u(x) -> T, the temperature of thesurrounding medium.The red graph is u(x), and the green graph is the surrounding temperature g(x)=T. Use the sliders to explore the effect of changing the values of the parameters.

MultiGraph applet written by David Eck (