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Is it possible to integrate x^2*e^(x^2)?

  1. Jun 29, 2012 #1
    Is it possible to integrate x^2*e^(x^2)?
    Also, is it possible to integrate x*e^(x^2)?

    If so, would you do it by parts?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 29, 2012 #2
    yes
    yes
    the first one looks a little tricky, I think you'd have to state your answer in terms of an integral function though
    the second one is pretty simple if you change variables
     
  4. Jun 30, 2012 #3
    The one you gave in the title is impossible to do, but I think if it is taken as an integral from 0 to infinity the Gamma function may yield an appropriate result. The other one is just substitution.
     
  5. Jun 30, 2012 #4
  6. Jun 30, 2012 #5

    HallsofIvy

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    It depends upon what you mean by "integrate". Both of those functions are continuous and so integrable. If you mean "have an elementary function as anti-derivative", no. But they can be integrated in terms of the "error function", erf(x) , which is itself defined as the integral of [itex]e^{x^2}[/itex].
     
  7. Jun 30, 2012 #6
    Like stated above, the first expression, when integrated, will probably result in an imaginary error function in terms of a "function" for the anti-derivative.

    The second one is easy.
    ∫x(ex)dx
    u=x2
    du=2xdx
    1/2∫eudu
    =(1/2)eu+c
    =(1/2)ex2+c

    P.S: @HallsofIvy i love your signature
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
  8. Jul 1, 2012 #7

    arildno

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    Dearly Missed

    Euclid Alone Has Looked On Beauty Bare
    -----------------------------
    Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare.
    Let all who prate of Beauty hold their peace,
    And lay them prone upon the earth and cease
    To ponder on themselves, the while they stare
    At nothing, intricately drawn nowhere
    In shapes of shifting lineage; let geese
    Gabble and hiss, but heroes seek release
    From dusty bondage into luminous air.
    O blinding hour, O holy, terrible day,
    When first the shaft into his vision shone
    Of light anatomized! Euclid alone
    Has looked on Beauty bare. Fortunate they
    Who, though once only and then but far away,
    Have heard her massive sandal set on stone.

    -- Edna St Vincent Millay
     
  9. Jul 1, 2012 #8

    D H

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    Look at the solution and you'll see it contains a mystery function erfi(x). So what is this? It's a rabbit pulled out of the hat. This hat:
    [tex]\text{erfi}(z) = \frac 2{\sqrt{\pi}} \int_0^z e^{t^2}dt[/tex]
    You can use every integration technique you know and you will not be able to find [itex]\int \exp(x^2)\,dx[/itex] unless you pull this rabbit out of its magical hat. Those magical hats that contain rabbits are very important. Most functions (almost all functions) are not integrable in terms the elementary functions. They are "nonelementary integrals". Some examples: The arc length of an ellipse, the normal probability distribution, and the first function in the opening post.

    When one of these nonelementary integrals appears enough times, mathematicians will give it a special definition as some new special function. erfi(x) is just one example of these special functions.
     
  10. Jul 1, 2012 #9
    Nice explanation from PF MENTOR !

    Sure, I will remember " It's a rabbit pulled out of the hat." :rofl:

    A somewhat similar explanation (For French readers) : "Safari au pays des Fonctions Spéciales",
    http://www.scribd.com/JJacquelin/documents
     
  11. Jul 1, 2012 #10
  12. Jul 2, 2012 #11

    arildno

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    I beg to differ..

    Mathematicians are NOT wily magicians who pull rabbits out of their hats.
    Rather, the error function is a pesky, annoying rabbit jumping out of the hat, despite all the desperate attempts of mathematicians to keep them inside, or as second-best, make a nice coney stew out of it.

    Finally, the mathematicians give up, and let the rabbit jump out of the hat whenever it wants to.
     
  13. Jul 2, 2012 #12
    Re: I beg to differ..

    The "error function" is a name given to a particular definite integral (related to the antiderivatives of the exp(-x²) function).
    The "logarithmic function" is a name given to a particular definite integral (related to the antiderivatives of the 1/x function).
    So, similary :
    << the logarithmic function is a pesky, annoying rabbit jumping out of the hat, despite all the desperate attempts of mathematicians to keep them inside, or as second-best, make a nice coney stew out of it >>
     
  14. Jul 2, 2012 #13
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2012
  15. Jul 2, 2012 #14

    D H

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    Re: I beg to differ..

    That pesky rabbit breeds too quickly to be constrained.
     
  16. Jul 2, 2012 #15

    arildno

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    Provable peskiness does not make the rabbits LESS pesky!
     
  17. Jul 2, 2012 #16
    Well, I got headache at catching the pesky rabbits humor.
     
  18. Jul 2, 2012 #17
    Just from what I've observed before:
    ∫xaex2 dx has an elementary antiderivative when a is odd.


    If you have an odd number of hats, the rabbit stays inside; if the number of hats is even, the rabbit comes out. :wink:
     
  19. Jul 2, 2012 #18
    Let's send every rabbit in hat a to 2a...
     
  20. Jul 3, 2012 #19
    Well, pesky is a word with an odd number of letters :tongue: Nature has a funny way of expressing itself (see attachment) :biggrin:
     

    Attached Files:

  21. Jul 3, 2012 #20
    Interesting point. I myself find it odd that "odd" has an odd number of letters too...

    Love it! Thanks for sharing :biggrin:
     
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