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Homework Help: Improper Integral

  1. May 4, 2008 #1
    This was a problem on one of my previous tests that I got wrong entirely. In preparing for my final, I'm attempting to redo it. I was wondering if someone could check my work.

    Determine whether the following improper integral is convergent or divergent. If the integeral is convergent, find its value.

    [tex]I = \int^{\infty}_{0}\frac{2x}{(x^{2}+1)^{1.2}}[/tex]

    which, after carrying out the 1.2, becomes


    That's where I get stuck. I know that the function diverges, but I don't know how to prove it.

    I thought about trying to manipulate it somehow so that the function I'm comparing it to is in the form


    I started off by trying a direct comparison test and compared it to [tex]\frac{2x}{x^{2.4}}[/tex] which can simplify to


    So, since the above function has [tex]p=.4<1[/tex], it diverges, by the Direct Comparison Test, [tex]I[/tex] diverges.
    Last edited: May 4, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. May 4, 2008 #2


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    Be careful! [itex](a + b)^p \neq (a^{p} + b^p)[/itex].

    Furthermore, the function [itex]2x/x^{2.4}[/itex] is actually slightly larger than your original integrand, so the fact that the integral over this diverges doesn't actually tell you anything about the convergence/divergence of your original integrand.

    The fact that there is a [itex]2x[/itex] in the integrand suggests you should make the substitution [itex]u = x^2 + 1[/itex]. Then your integral becomes

    [tex]I = \int^{\infty}_{1}\frac{du}{u^{1.2}} = \int^{\infty}_{1}\frac{du}{u^{6/5}}[/tex]

    This is an integral you can do, and you should be able to tell if it diverges or converges.
    Last edited: May 4, 2008
  4. May 5, 2008 #3


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