I am trying to find the extremal that minimizes [tex]\int_{0}^{1} \sqrt{y(1+y'^2)} dx[/tex](adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Because it is not explicitly a function of the free variable x, I can use the shortcut:

constant=F-y'*(dF/dy') to solve for y(x)

My problem is that after grinding through the algebra my y(x) is a function of itself, in other words I cannot isolate the variable I want to.

If anybody can offer some tips on either another way to go about this

problem or maybe argue that y(x) can be isolated it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for the help!

(In case the formatting doesn't work, everything inside the integral is raised to the 1/2)

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**

Dismiss Notice

Join Physics Forums Today!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

# Extremals - calc of variations

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**