1.5 Optimisation - Cuboid

Applet explorations

1) The goal here is to find the minimum possible surface area for the given (constant) volume. Why might this be desirable in the real world? 2) Play around with the applet to get a feel for the problem geometrically. What is the minimum possible surface area for the baking tin? For what approximate values does this occur? 3) Ensure you are happy with where the volume calculation is coming from. Can you set up a similar formula for the surface area? (Remember, it is an open-topped cuboid.) 4) Verify your previous findings using calculus. You will need both of the previous expressions for this. Summarise any key points at the bottom of the page.

Applet conclusions

Note any key points from this activity. How can this applet be used to develop our understanding of calculus?