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Homework Help: Need a help to solve this integral.

  1. Jul 19, 2012 #1
    Please help me to find this integral.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 19, 2012 #2

    This looks mean, but if you don't write it with LaTeX as this forum offers, then I won't waste my time trying to solve something that may be wrong because I misunderstood...

  4. Jul 19, 2012 #3
  5. Jul 19, 2012 #4
    I believe it's formatted unambiguously Don. I'd rather Latex too however:


    I'll try a little to solve it without Mathematica. I couldn't so I input it into Mathematica and it returned the antiderivative in terms of special functions, in this case elliptic functions. Usually that means it has no simple antiderivative but not always.
  6. Jul 19, 2012 #5


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    I agree with jackmel. I don't think that it has an anti-derivative that can be expressed in terms of standard functions.

    Is there any context to this integral Nilupa. Do you have a particular definite integral in mind. Can you use a numerical solution?
  7. Jul 19, 2012 #6

    Ray Vickson

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    He/she wrote it clearly, with all necessary parentheses, unlike so many posters herein.

    That said, the problem is still "almost un-doable": the final result involves a horrible expression involving Elliptic functions.

  8. Jul 19, 2012 #7


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    I hear what you're saying Ray. Having redundant parentheses is better than omitting essential ones (which, as you say, so often happens here). Still, it would have been a bit easier on the eye if the integrand was written with a few less parentheses. :smile:

    1 / sqrt( 1 - 2/x - (x^2)/3 )
  9. Jul 20, 2012 #8
    This is actually exactly the kind of integral I had to calculate once to find some distances in cosmology. It's not terribly difficult to find the solution in terms of elliptic integrals, all you need is to change variables to y=1/x and then do some scaling to get the proper form. Unfortunately there is no easy way to evaluate the elliptic functions, so unless you really need to spend as little cpu time as possible on doing the integral, you should just do it numerically from the beginning.
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