3 Responses to Commentary, We Sail Off To War No. 3

  1. Gabriel Schwartz says:

    Must resist tropes link……………

  2. Fishbreath says:

    With a system of 15 linear equations, it’s possible to solve an intercept course problem without calculus. However, it took me half an hour to do a one-dimensional case by hand, and Mathematica utterly failed to give me the solution I worked out.

    Rolling my own solver may be necessary.

    • Fishbreath says:

      It turns out this is not actually the case: it’s a boundary value nonlinear partial differential equation problem. That’s a lot of adjectives. I don’t know how to do one of those. I don’t even know how to set it up. It would probably be a good thing to learn.

      However, I do have the power of computers and repeated approximations at my disposal. My computerized intercept plotter is going to be a fairly simple simulation of the motion involved, and I’ll just vary the time until it’s obvious we’re not getting any closer or the intercept works.

      The funny thing is, computationally that might actually be faster than solving the differential equations.

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