Questions tagged [integration]

Concerns all aspects of integration, including the integral definition and computational methods. For questions solely about the properties of integrals, use in conjunction with (indefinite-integral), (definite-integral), (improper-integrals) or another tag(s) that typically describe(s) the types of the integrals being considered. This tag often goes along with the (calculus) tag.

Integration is a major part of , related to differentiation by the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, Part Two:

If $f$ is the derivative of $F$, then $$\int^b_a f(x)\ dx = F(b)-F(a).$$

Note: to be strict, the equality in the formula above is not always achieved, but requires $f$ to have certain properties. For example, $f$ is absolutely continuous and $f$ is the derivative of $F$ almost everywhere. However, for most functions encountered in real-world problems, the equality in the above formula is true.

There are two main kinds of integrals: definite integrals (e.g. proper and improper integrals), which often have numerical values, and indefinite integrals, which group families of functions with the same derivative.

Integration is often harder than differentiation. Several techniques have been developed, including integration by parts, substitution, trigonometric substitution, and partial fractions.

Integration can be used to find the area under a graph and find the average of the function. Also, it can be used to compute the volume of certain solids and to find the displacement of a particle.

There are many ways of formally defining an integral, not all of which are equivalent. The differences exist mostly to deal with differing special cases which may not be integrable under other definitions, but also occasionally for pedagogical reasons. The most commonly used definitions of the integral are Riemann integrals and Lebesgue integrals.

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Integral $\int_{-1}^1\frac1x\sqrt{\frac{1+x}{1-x}}\ln\left(\frac{2\,x^2+2\,x+1}{2\,x^2-2\,x+1}\right) \mathrm dx$

I need help with this integral: $$I=\int_{-1}^1\frac1x\sqrt{\frac{1+x}{1-x}}\ln\left(\frac{2\,x^2+2\,x+1}{2\,x^2-2\,x+1}\right)\ \mathrm dx.$$ The integrand graph looks like this: $\hspace{1in}$ The approximate numeric value of the…
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Calculating the length of the paper on a toilet paper roll

Fun with Math time. My mom gave me a roll of toilet paper to put it in the bathroom, and looking at it I immediately wondered about this: is it possible, through very simple math, to calculate (with small error) the total paper length of a toilet…
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How can you prove that a function has no closed form integral?

In the past, I've come across statements along the lines of "function $f(x)$ has no closed form integral", which I assume means that there is no combination of the operations: addition/subtraction multiplication/division raising to powers and…
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Really advanced techniques of integration (definite or indefinite)

Okay, so everyone knows the usual methods of solving integrals, namely u-substitution, integration by parts, partial fractions, trig substitutions, and reduction formulas. But what else is there? Every time I search for "Advanced Techniques of…
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Evaluate $ \int_{0}^{\frac{\pi}2}\frac1{(1+x^2)(1+\tan x)}\:\mathrm dx$

Evaluate the following integral $$ \tag1\int_{0}^{\frac{\pi}{2}}\frac1{(1+x^2)(1+\tan x)}\,\mathrm dx $$ My Attempt: Letting $x=\frac{\pi}{2}-x$ and using the property that $$ \int_{0}^{a}f(x)\,\mathrm dx = \int_{0}^{a}f(a-x)\,\mathrm dx $$ we…
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The Integral that Stumped Feynman?

In "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!," Nobel-prize winning Physicist Richard Feynman said that he challenged his colleagues to give him an integral that they could evaluate with only complex methods that he could not do with real…
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"Integral Milking"

I begin this post with a plea: please don't be too harsh with this post for being off topic or vague. It's a question about something I find myself doing as a mathematician, and wonder whether others do it as well. It is a soft question about…
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Is this really a categorical approach to integration?

Here's an article by Reinhard Börger I found recently whose title and content, prima facie, seem quite exciting to me, given my misadventures lately (like this and this); it's called, "A Categorical Approach to Integration". The Abstract: "We…
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Proving $\int_{0}^{\infty} \mathrm{e}^{-x^2} dx = \frac{\sqrt \pi}{2}$

How to prove $$\int_{0}^{\infty} \mathrm{e}^{-x^2}\, dx = \frac{\sqrt \pi}{2}$$
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Generalizing $\int_{0}^{1} \frac{\arctan\sqrt{x^{2} + 2}}{\sqrt{x^{2} + 2}} \, \frac{\operatorname dx}{x^{2}+1} = \frac{5\pi^{2}}{96}$

The following integral \begin{align*} \int_{0}^{1} \frac{\arctan\sqrt{x^{2} + 2}}{\sqrt{x^{2} + 2}} \, \frac{dx}{x^{2}+1} = \frac{5\pi^{2}}{96} \tag{1} \end{align*} is called the Ahmed's integral and became famous since its first discovery in 2002.…
Sangchul Lee
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Some users are mind bogglingly skilled at integration. How did they get there?

Looking through old problems, it is not difficult to see that some users are beyond incredible at computing integrals. It only took a couple seconds to dig up an example like this. Especially in a world where most scientists compute their integrals…
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A math contest problem $\int_0^1\ln\left(1+\frac{\ln^2x}{4\,\pi^2}\right)\frac{\ln(1-x)}x \ \mathrm dx$

A friend of mine sent me a math contest problem that I am not able to solve (he does not know a solution either). So, I thought I might ask you for help. Prove: $$\int_0^1\ln\left(1+\frac{\ln^2x}{4\,\pi^2}\right)\frac{\ln(1-x)}x…
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Symmetry of function defined by integral

Define a function $f(\alpha, \beta)$, $\alpha \in (-1,1)$, $\beta \in (-1,1)$ as $$ f(\alpha, \beta) = \int_0^{\infty} dx \: \frac{x^{\alpha}}{1+2 x \cos{(\pi \beta)} + x^2}$$ One can use, for example, the Residue Theorem to show that $$ f(\alpha,…
Ron Gordon
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Lesser-known integration tricks

I am currently studying for the GRE math subject test, which heavily tests calculus. I've reviewed most of the basic calculus techniques (integration by parts, trig substitutions, etc.) I am now looking for a list or reference for some lesser-known…
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Striking applications of integration by parts

What are your favorite applications of integration by parts? (The answers can be as lowbrow or highbrow as you wish. I'd just like to get a bunch of these in one place!) Thanks for your contributions, in advance!
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