Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Difficult Integral of trig and sqrt functions

  1. Nov 27, 2011 #1
    I'm having troubles solving this integral.

    ∫ (sinx)^2 / √( a - b*cos(x)) dx ; a & b just constants

    I've tried many routes but get stuck.
    And when substitution and product rule methods seem to fail. Are there other methods useful to go to when integrating strange functions?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    When standard methods fail, which is often for "strange" functions I usually try to see if Maple gives an answer. Maple seems to have a built in solver that knows many of the non-standard and lesser studied integrals. For this example I set a = 4 and b = 2 just to see what would happen and Maple gives an answer in terms of Elliptic functions. You aren't going to solve it with the standard calculus methods.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook