1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Calculating the arc length in r^3

  1. Aug 14, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    r(t)=ti+2tj+(t^2-3)k or r(t)=(t, 2t, t^2-3)


    2. Relevant equations

    arc lenght formula ∫[the scalar of dr/dt]
    I know I can calculate the arc length through the equation above, but the questions asks for
    me to utilize this formula.

    ∫√(t^2+a^2) dt = .5t√(t^2+a^2) + .5a^2 times ln(t+√(t^2+a^2))

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I couldn't get far on this, but i think it has to do something with another alternative to get the arc length.

    If it is difficult reading the problem, i also have a picture of it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 14, 2012 #2
    Here is the picture of the image
    It's #6

    Attached Files:

  4. Aug 14, 2012 #3
    What is the |dr/dt| in this case?
  5. Aug 14, 2012 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    What, exactly, is your problem? It should be very easy to differentiate that. Have you done that yet? There is no "alternative" needed. Just take the derivative of the vector function, find its length and integrate that.
  6. Aug 14, 2012 #5
    i know right? but the book keeps telling me to use the formula to find the arc length provided with problem number 6.
  7. Aug 14, 2012 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    So show us what you get for the integral using the "usual way" and explain why you can't use the given formula. Then we can see what the issue really is for you.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook