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 March 9th, 2019, 10:03 PM #1 Senior Member   Joined: Apr 2008 Posts: 194 Thanks: 3 percentage error related to differentials I am a math tutor. One of my students asked me to help him with a few problems. There was a question I could not get the right answer for. (ex) The length x of the side of a square is measured less than 1% error. By approximately what percentage will the calculated area A=x^2 of the square be in error? My attempt We are given dx = 0.01 . The differential is dA = 2x dx = 0.02 x . My answer is wrong. The correct answer is dA = 0.02 x^2 . I don't understand why the differential in the correct answer has x squared instead of just x. Could someone explain how to get the x squared? Thanks a lot. March 10th, 2019, 03:27 AM #2 Member   Joined: Feb 2019 From: United Kingdom Posts: 44 Thanks: 3 Because you’ve substituted one percent of a unit. Substitute 0.01x for the increment dx March 10th, 2019, 05:59 AM   #3
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 Originally Posted by davedave I am a math tutor. One of my students asked me to help him with a few problems. There was a question I could not get the right answer for. (ex) The length x of the side of a square is measured less than 1% error. By approximately what percentage will the calculated area A=x^2 of the square be in error? My attempt We are given dx = 0.01 . The differential is dA = 2x dx = 0.02 x . My answer is wrong. The correct answer is dA = 0.02 x^2 . I don't understand why the differential in the correct answer has x squared instead of just x. Could someone explain how to get the x squared? Thanks a lot.
Your answer is correct. The other answer is a typo. March 11th, 2019, 07:03 PM #4 Senior Member   Joined: Jul 2012 From: DFW Area Posts: 642 Thanks: 99 Math Focus: Electrical Engineering Applications Hmm, I get 2% for "By approximately what percentage will the calculated area A=x^2 of the square be in error?" (my bold), and I get $\Delta A \approx 0.02x^2$. I'm not sure which answer is the desired one, nor whether the OP's answer (along with the one from SDK) is correct, for that matter. Let the error of the side be +1%, giving $l$: $\displaystyle \large {l=(1+0.01)x \\ A=l^2 \\ A=(1+0.01)^2x^2 \\ A=(1+0.02+0.0001)x^2 \\ \Delta A \approx 0.02 x^2 \\ \text{% error of A} \approx \frac{0.02x^2}{x^2} \cdot 100 \approx \text{2%} }$ Numerical examples: $\displaystyle \large{ \begin{array} {cccccc} x & x^2 & 1.01x &A(1.01x) & \Delta A & 0.02x^2& \frac{\Delta A}{x^2} \\ 1.0 & 1.0 & 1.01 & 1.0201 & \approx 0.02 & 0.02 & \approx 0.02 \\ 2.0 & 4.0 & 2.02 & 4.0804 & \approx 0.08 & 0.08 & \approx 0.02 \\ 3.0 & 9.0 & 3.03 & 9.1809 & \approx 0.18 & 0.18 & \approx 0.02 \end{array} }$ March 12th, 2019, 05:00 AM #5 Global Moderator   Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 20,919 Thanks: 2203 That's correct. The calculated area (if the measured length of the side of the square has an error of less than 1%) will have an error of less than approximately 2%. Tags differentials, error, percentage, related Thread Tools Show Printable Version Email this Page Display Modes Linear Mode Switch to Hybrid Mode Switch to Threaded Mode Similar Threads Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post hereforhelp Algebra 2 September 30th, 2018 01:17 PM Sam1990 Applied Math 1 October 18th, 2014 01:53 PM Nohijo Elementary Math 2 March 24th, 2013 03:44 PM esther Calculus 1 October 25th, 2011 03:57 AM jsmith613 Algebra 0 April 8th, 2011 05:51 AM

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