Today is the AP Calculus Exam

Across the nation, kids just hammered through this test. Ready to channel your inner Escalante? From last year’s test: 

Oil is leaking from a pipeline on the surface of a lake and forms an oil slick whose volume increases at a constant rate of 2000 cubic centimeters per minute. The oil slick takes the form of a right circular cylinder with both its radius and height changing with time.  (Note: V=pi*r^2*h)

(a) At the instant when the radius of the oil slick is 100 centimeters and the height is 0.5 centimeter, the radius is increasing at the rate of 2.5 centimeters per minute. At this instant, what is the rate of change of the height of the oil slick with respect to time, in centimeters per minute? 

(b) A recovery device arrives on the scene and begins removing oil. The rate at which oil is removed is 400 (square root of) t  cubic centimeters per minute, where t is the time in minutes since the device began working. Oil continues to leak at the rate of 2000 cubic centimeters per minute. Find the time t when the oil slick reaches its maximum volume. Justify your answer. 

(c) By the time the recovery device began removing oil, 60,000 cubic centimeters of oil had already leaked. Write, but do not evaluate, an expression involving an integral that gives the volume of oil at the time found in part (b). 

—Guestblogger Mike Goldstein

4 Replies to “Today is the AP Calculus Exam”

  1. Can’t believe I used to know how to do this! AP Calc is a long time ago… 🙂

  2. 4-5 years ago, I would have solved this…but now I’m just fascinated by the fact that the “recovery device”‘s oil removal rate increases over time with no defined maximum.

    I much more enjoyed Physics, where our word problems often dealt with death-defying cliff jumpers, perfectly (and ridiculously) aimed bullets, and time travelers trying to outrun dinosaurs.

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