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Homework Help: Contour integration by parametisation

  1. Apr 25, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Determine, by explicit parameterisation,

    C dz f(z), where f(z) = z^n , n ∈ Z, n > 0
    and C is the line segment from z = 0 to z = 2 together with the line segment from z = 2 to z = 2 + i.

    2. Relevant equations
    ϒ f(z) dz = ∫ab dt f(ϒ(t))ϒ'(t) where ϒ'(t)≈dz/dt

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Splitting C into two sub contours ϒ1 = {z=x, x ∈ [0 , 2]} and ϒ2 = {z=y, y ∈ [2 , 2+i]}. Then using the equation above to integrate over both and sum. This gave and answer which I really can't gauge whether is correct or not.


    But my lecturer gave us a rough check guide and said that if what you start with is a real number then your answer should be real also. Thus am skeptical of my answer.

    Any help on the method, answer or general help with this would be greatly appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2016 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    It's not clear what your lecturer was talking about, or if you have fully understood what he said, but I have never heard of such a "rough check" on open contour integrals.

    In fact, a similar problem is contained in this article (pp. 4-5) where f(z) = z2 and the contour is dog-legged like the one for your problem:


    The calculation starts out with a real result on C1 and gives a complex result on C2 with a net result which is complex. :wink:
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