# How do I solve a nonlinear equation that needs to be setup – Updated to MATLAB 2018b

Guest co-blogger: Luis Serrano

Many students ask me how do I do this or that in MATLAB. So I thought why not have a small series of my next few blogs do that. In this blog, I show you how to solve a nonlinear equation that needs to be set up.

For example to find the depth ‘x’ to which a ball is floating in water is based on the following cubic equation
4*R^3*S=3*x^2*(R-x/3)
where
R= radius of ball
S= specific gravity of ball
So how do we set this up if S and R are input values?

The MATLAB program link is here.

The HTML version of the MATLAB program is here.

• DO NOT COPY AND PASTE THE PROGRAM BELOW BECAUSE THE SINGLE QUOTES DO NOT TRANSLATE TO THE CORRECT SINGLE QUOTES IN MATLAB EDITOR.  DOWNLOAD THE MATLAB PROGRAM INSTEAD

%% SUMMARY
% Language : Matlab 2018b;
% Authors : Autar Kaw and Luis Serrano;
% Mfile available at
% http://nm.mathforcollege.com/blog/NonlinearEquations_withSetUp.m;
% Last Revised : January 22, 2020;
% Abstract: This program shows you how to solve a nonlinear equation
% that needs to set up as opposed that is just given to you.
clc
clear all
%% INTRODUCTION
disp(‘ABSTRACT’)
disp(‘ This program shows you how to solve’)
disp(‘ a nonlinear equation that needs to be setup’)
disp(‘ ‘)
disp(‘AUTHORS’)
disp(‘ Autar Kaw and Luis Serrano’)
disp(‘ ‘)
disp(‘MFILE SOURCE’)
disp(‘ http://nm.mathforcollege.com/blog/NonlinearEquations_withSetUp.m&#8217;)
disp(‘ ‘)
disp(‘LAST REVISED’)
disp(‘ January 22, 2020’)
disp(‘ ‘)
%% INPUTS
% Solve the nonlinear equation where you need to set up the equation
% For example to find the depth ‘x’ to which a ball is floating in water is based on the following
% cubic equation 4*R^3*S=3*x^2*(R-x/3) R= radius of ball S= specific gravity of ball So how do we set this up if S and R are input values
S=0.6
R=0.055
%% DISPLAYING INPUTS
disp(‘INPUTS’)
func=[‘ The equation to be solved is 4*R^3*S=3*x^2*(R-x/3)’];
disp(func)
disp(‘ ‘)
%% THE CODE
% Define x as a symbol
syms x
% Setting up the equation
C1=4*R^3*S
C2=3*x^2*(R-x/3)
f=C1==C2
% Finding the solution of the nonlinear equation
soln=vpasolve(f,x);
solnvalue=double(soln);
%% DISPLAYING OUTPUTS
disp(‘OUTPUTS’)
for i=1:1:length(solnvalue)
fprintf(‘\nThe solution# %g is %g’,i,solnvalue(i))
end
disp(‘ ‘)

________________________

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## Author: Autar Kaw

Autar Kaw (http://autarkaw.com) is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Florida. He has been at USF since 1987, the same year in which he received his Ph. D. in Engineering Mechanics from Clemson University. He is a recipient of the 2012 U.S. Professor of the Year Award. With major funding from NSF, he is the principal and managing contributor in developing the multiple award-winning online open courseware for an undergraduate course in Numerical Methods. The OpenCourseWare (nm.MathForCollege.com) annually receives 1,000,000+ page views, 1,000,000+ views of the YouTube audiovisual lectures, and 150,000+ page views at the NumericalMethodsGuy blog. His current research interests include engineering education research methods, adaptive learning, open courseware, massive open online courses, flipped classrooms, and learning strategies. He has written four textbooks and 80 refereed technical papers, and his opinion editorials have appeared in the St. Petersburg Times and Tampa Tribune.