# Extremizing functionals (Calculus of variations)

## Homework Statement

Find the curve y(x) that extremizes the functional J[y]= int({1-y'^2}/y,x=a..b) if the end points lie on two non-intersecting circles in the upper half-plane.

## Homework Equations

Euler's equation: if F=F(x,y,y') then Euler's equation extremization is found from solving the ODE: F_y - d/dx(F_y') = 0 (where F_y denotes the derivative of F wrt y).

Since F is independant from x the problem reduces to solving y'*F_y' -F= c

## The Attempt at a Solution

I used the Euler's equation to solve the given functional.

At some point I get: y'^2 = c*y -1
so if i want to solve for y' I will have to choose wether to give it + or - sign (first confusion).

Suppose the first problem is trivial. I got the extremum to be a parabola with 2 constants.

Now my main problem is to use the boundary conditions to determine the curve y(x).
So y(a) will be varying on the first circle and y(b) on the second.
I tried to read in my text (Gelfand and Fomin) but I couldn't just solve it.

Any help :)?

Thanks,
Joe