Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Mehzad, a student:

Every day, the temperature in a greenhouse is at its low temperature, 70 degrees Fahrenheit, at 2 a.m. and at its high temperature, 84 degrees Fahrenheit, at 2pm. Its temperature increases linearly between 2 am and 2pm , and decreases linearly from 2 pm and to 2am. The outside temperature follows the same linear patterns, but has a low temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit at 2 am and a high temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit at 2 pm. At which of the following times will the temperature inside and outside the greenhouse be the same?

a) 8:00 am
b) 12:00 noon
c) 4:00 pm
d) The two temperatures will never be the same


I would first draw a sketch of the linear functions to see if I can see roughly when the inside and outside temperatures might be the same.

inside temperature

Now plot a sketch of the outside temperature on the same graph.


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