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Dimensional analysis yields the general second-order differential equation underlying many natural phenomena: the mathematical properties of a phenomenon's data plot then specify a unique differential equation for it.

Kepner GR - Theor Biol Med Model (2014)

Bottom Line: This yields a differential equation that describes the relationship among the physical variables governing the phenomenon's behavior.Complex phenomena such as the Standard Normal Distribution, the Logistic Growth Function, and Hill Ligand binding, which are characterized by data plots of distinctly different sigmoidal character, are readily analyzed by this approach.It provides an alternative, simple, unifying basis for analyzing each of these varied phenomena from a common perspective that ties them together and offers new insights into the appropriate empirical constants for describing each phenomenon.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Membrane Studies Project, PO Box 14180, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA. kepnermsp@yahoo.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: This study uses dimensional analysis to derive the general second-order differential equation that underlies numerous physical and natural phenomena described by common mathematical functions. It eschews assumptions about empirical constants and mechanisms. It relies only on the data plot's mathematical properties to provide the conditions and constraints needed to specify a second-order differential equation that is free of empirical constants for each phenomenon.

Results: A practical example of each function is analyzed using the general form of the underlying differential equation and the observable unique mathematical properties of each data plot, including boundary conditions. This yields a differential equation that describes the relationship among the physical variables governing the phenomenon's behavior. Complex phenomena such as the Standard Normal Distribution, the Logistic Growth Function, and Hill Ligand binding, which are characterized by data plots of distinctly different sigmoidal character, are readily analyzed by this approach.

Conclusions: It provides an alternative, simple, unifying basis for analyzing each of these varied phenomena from a common perspective that ties them together and offers new insights into the appropriate empirical constants for describing each phenomenon.

Show MeSH
Two power law functions. a. Light intensity as a function of iris radius. The red dashed line gives the coordinates slope (I / r). The black dashed line gives the slope at this point (dI / dr). b. Basal metabolic rate versus organism mass. The red dashed line gives the coordinates slope (B / M). The black dashed line gives the slope at this point (dB / dM).
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Figure 5: Two power law functions. a. Light intensity as a function of iris radius. The red dashed line gives the coordinates slope (I / r). The black dashed line gives the slope at this point (dI / dr). b. Basal metabolic rate versus organism mass. The red dashed line gives the coordinates slope (B / M). The black dashed line gives the slope at this point (dB / dM).

Mentions: Consider the iris of the eye with radius, r. A small change in its diameter alters the intensity, I, of entering light [1]. The data plot (Figure 5a) has a tangent below the curve, so the second derivative is positive. Therefore, the RHS of the D.E. must be positive. This eliminates cases that give a negative RHS: b., c., f. and h. Case c. is negative because from the data plot, (dI / dr) > I / r.


Dimensional analysis yields the general second-order differential equation underlying many natural phenomena: the mathematical properties of a phenomenon's data plot then specify a unique differential equation for it.

Kepner GR - Theor Biol Med Model (2014)

Two power law functions. a. Light intensity as a function of iris radius. The red dashed line gives the coordinates slope (I / r). The black dashed line gives the slope at this point (dI / dr). b. Basal metabolic rate versus organism mass. The red dashed line gives the coordinates slope (B / M). The black dashed line gives the slope at this point (dB / dM).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4530561&req=5

Figure 5: Two power law functions. a. Light intensity as a function of iris radius. The red dashed line gives the coordinates slope (I / r). The black dashed line gives the slope at this point (dI / dr). b. Basal metabolic rate versus organism mass. The red dashed line gives the coordinates slope (B / M). The black dashed line gives the slope at this point (dB / dM).
Mentions: Consider the iris of the eye with radius, r. A small change in its diameter alters the intensity, I, of entering light [1]. The data plot (Figure 5a) has a tangent below the curve, so the second derivative is positive. Therefore, the RHS of the D.E. must be positive. This eliminates cases that give a negative RHS: b., c., f. and h. Case c. is negative because from the data plot, (dI / dr) > I / r.

Bottom Line: This yields a differential equation that describes the relationship among the physical variables governing the phenomenon's behavior.Complex phenomena such as the Standard Normal Distribution, the Logistic Growth Function, and Hill Ligand binding, which are characterized by data plots of distinctly different sigmoidal character, are readily analyzed by this approach.It provides an alternative, simple, unifying basis for analyzing each of these varied phenomena from a common perspective that ties them together and offers new insights into the appropriate empirical constants for describing each phenomenon.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Membrane Studies Project, PO Box 14180, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA. kepnermsp@yahoo.com.

ABSTRACT

Background: This study uses dimensional analysis to derive the general second-order differential equation that underlies numerous physical and natural phenomena described by common mathematical functions. It eschews assumptions about empirical constants and mechanisms. It relies only on the data plot's mathematical properties to provide the conditions and constraints needed to specify a second-order differential equation that is free of empirical constants for each phenomenon.

Results: A practical example of each function is analyzed using the general form of the underlying differential equation and the observable unique mathematical properties of each data plot, including boundary conditions. This yields a differential equation that describes the relationship among the physical variables governing the phenomenon's behavior. Complex phenomena such as the Standard Normal Distribution, the Logistic Growth Function, and Hill Ligand binding, which are characterized by data plots of distinctly different sigmoidal character, are readily analyzed by this approach.

Conclusions: It provides an alternative, simple, unifying basis for analyzing each of these varied phenomena from a common perspective that ties them together and offers new insights into the appropriate empirical constants for describing each phenomenon.

Show MeSH