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# Math SL

INTERNAL ASSESMENT

Funnel and Various Inflow Rates
For many years, we have been using a wide conical shape that has a narrow stem called a
Funnel for various purposes. Antonio Berlese invented the funnel. The funnel originally was
used to extract insects from the soil and microorganisms from litters of a leaf.
1
In this day
and age, a funnel can be used in various ways such as it can be used as a Filter funnel, a
thistle funnels, a dropping funnel, a filter funnel or a Bchner funnel.
My fascination with funnels was first sparked in our chemistry class when we were told to
pour a chemical from one container to another. While I was doing the experiment, it made
me think about the inflow rate at which the liquid flows into the funnel and the outflow rate
at which liquid flows out of a funnel and the factors that affect it.
Therefore leading to this exploration about the water level in a funnel with variable inflow
rates.
To investigate the water level in a funnel with variable inflow rate differential equation is
formulated for the water level as a function of time. I used Maxima
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to solve the differential
equation for various inflow rates and plot the corresponding water level.
Cogitate a funnel in the shape of a frustum of a circular cone with a lower radius a, upper
radius b and height H, as shown in Figure 1. Water flows in at a volume rate of Q(t) and

1
"Who Invented the Funnel?" - Ask.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014. "Who Invented the
invented-the-funnel>.
2
"WxMaxima." WxMaxima. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014.
<http://andrejv.github.io/wxmaxima/>.
leaves at a volume rate of q. The dependence of Q (t) on time t is prescribed. The outflow
rate q depends on the height h of water in the funnel. It is found that the flow rates Q(t) and
q are not equal in general. Consequently, the level of water, h(t), in the funnel varies with
time. Therefore, the goal of this exploration is to determine h as a function of time.

If this topic is mathematically scrutinized then to find the water level in the funnel, we need
to determine the funnels outflow rate. According to Torricelli's Law
3
states, that speed at
which fluid is ejected from a hole is given by where h is the height of the fluid above
the hole and g is the acceleration of gravity. Because if Torricelli's law ignores the fluid's
viscosity. It gives reasonable estimates for outflow velocity for low viscosity fluids such as
water or gasoline but it is not applicable at all to high viscosity fluids, such as honey or
molasses. Think of identical barrels of water and molasses with holes punched in their
bottoms. We dont expect equal rates of flow, right.
In this funnel, the area of the exit hole is

therefore:
()

3
"Torricelli's Law." Boundless. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2014. <https://www.boundless.com/physics/fluid-dynamics-and-
its-applications/bernoulli-s-equation/torricelli-s-law/>.
H
h(t)
H H
a
A(t)
q(h)
b
Q(t)
Q(t)
(1)
Figure 1 Water flow
Let V (t) is the volume of the water in the funnel at time t. The rate of change of V(t) equals
the rate of inflow minus the rate of outflow:

() () ()
Its already known that q(h) is related to h. The next objective is to relate dV/dt to h. From
calculus we are aware that () where A(h) is the funnel's horizontal cross
sectional area at level h. Therefore

## () and the previous equations changes to:

()

() () ()
It remains Obtain an expression for A(h).
Toward this end, let r(h) be radius of the funnel's horizontal cross-sectional at height h
above the bottom. In Figure 2, we see a vertical cross-section of the funnel. The edge" of
the funnel is signified by the slanted line that connects the points with coordinates (a,0) and
(b,H). The equation of that line is:

( )

(2)
x
(b,H)
(r,h)
(a,0)
y
Figure 2: To determine the relationship between r and h. The points
(b,H) and (a,0) lie on the top and bottom rims. For an arbitrary point
with coordinates (r,h) as shown, we wish to determine the
relationship between r and h
To find the radius at level r, we plug in y=h and solve for x which equals the desired r(h). It
can be seen that:
()

It can be noted that this equation implies that r(0)=a and r(H)=b, as expected.
For example:
If Q(t) =0 if plotted on h versus t which is corresponding to the constant input rates.

IF Q(t) =6 is plotted on h versus t which is corresponding to the constant input
rates. The graph would be something like this:

(3)
h 5.0
0 20
t
40
0.0
2.5
7.5
10.0
h 5.0
0 100
t
200
0.0
2.5
7.5
10.0

If Q(t) =10 is plotted on h versus t which is corresponding to the constant input rates
the graph would look something like this:

In an overview of equation (1), (3) and () ()

## , equation (2) reduces to a first order

differential equation in the unknown h(t). Solving this equation in MAXIMA we see what we
are dealing with:

()

This needs to solved with the initial condition where ()
What happens when there is no incoming flow, that is Q (t) is identically zero, the
differential equation (2) is separable and can be solved by hand. For nonzero inflow, (2) is
not solvable in terms of elementary functions. We use Maximas numerical solver to
compute and plot solutions.
For example, we use the following values:
a = 1, b = 7, H = 10, g = 1
h 5.0
0 200
t
400
0.0
2.5
7.5
10.0
(4)
and it is assumed that the funnel is full to the brim at t = 0.
In Figure 3 the graphs of h(t) for three different choices of Q(t). The leftmost graph
corresponds to no inflow. It is also observed that the water level drops to zero in a finite
time. The two other graphs correspond to constant inflow rates of Q = 6 and Q = 10. And in
each case, the water level stabilizes to a fixed level after sufficiently long wait.
() () ()

Figure 3: h(t) for three different choices of Q(t)
This makes us question that: What determines the stabilization level? That is, what is the
horizontal asymptote of h (t) for a constant inflow rate of

?
The answer can be found by simple algebra. To see this, it is noted that h(t) approaches its
asymptote, its slope which is

## ,goes to zero. Then by looking at the different equation in it

(4) it is clear that the left hand side goes to zero, therefore the right hand size will have to
go to zero too. Setting the right hand size to zero and solving for h we get the asymptotic
value,

For example, for example, for the previously used parameter values a = 1, g = 1 and Q0 =
10, we get h1 = 5:066 which agrees with the asymptotic limit of the rightmost graph in
Figure 3.
To find the critical flow rate that keeps the funnel filled to the brim, take a flow rate, which
equals that critical rate in the time interval and drops to thereafter. The
graphs of () and the corresponding () are shown in Figure 6.

Q 5.0
0 200
t
400
0.0
2.5
7.5
10.0
h 5.0
0 200
t
400
0.0
2.5
7.5
10.0
Figure 4: On the left is the in ow rate versus time. On the right is the corresponding water level, h(t), versus time.
20
Q 5.0
0 200
t
400
0.0
10
15
h 5.0
0 500
t
1000
0.0
2.5
7.5
10.0
Figure 5: On the left is the inflow rate versus time. On the right is the corresponding water level, h(t), versus time.
Therefore, the critical flow rate as the constant rate of inflow that keeps the funnel full to the
brim without overflowing.