• Question: What is the hardest/longest equation that you have ever solved?

    Asked by Zoe to Will, Fahim, Chris, Candice on 19 Nov 2019.
    • Photo: Chris Parmenter

      Chris Parmenter answered on 19 Nov 2019:

      The most difficult equation I remember seeing during my degree was Rayleigh’s equation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rayleigh%27s_equation_(fluid_dynamics)). Thankfully I never had to solve it (apparently it’s very tricky to do anyway) and most equations I ever use are much simpler! It was a few years ago now, so I couldn’t even try to explain it to you – sorry! Maybe one of the other engineers could tell you more about it than I can…

    • Photo: Fahim Dhalla

      Fahim Dhalla answered on 20 Nov 2019:

      Hi Zoe,
      In a previous job I did some calculations to adapt the fueling of some jet engines based on the inlet air temperature. This was quite a few pages of script, but not really one single equation, but more like many together, each taking the result from the other for the next part of the calculation. Simplifying is one of the great engineering skills to make it possible to do seemingly impossible calculations!