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The idea to evaluate integrals involving modulus is as such:

For example, considering

c
a
x f ) ( dx , we must first know what range of values of x for which ) (x f is
negative, in this case lets assume it to be 0 ) ( x f for , b x a where . c b <
Then

c
a
x f ) ( dx

=
b
a
x f ) ( dx +

c
b
x f ) ( dx
We section the integral into two parts, appending an additional negative sign to the integral part
for which 0 ) ( x f , while simply integrating the remaining second part normally without the
modulus sign.

With that, examine the following two problems:
(a) Solving


4
1
2 2
x a dx
For ,
2 2
x a y = where , 4 1 < < a the graph is given below:
y


A
0 1 a 4 x
B



Noting that 0
2 2
x a for a x 1 and 0
2 2
x a for , 4 x a


4
1
2 2
x a dx

=
a
x a
1
2 2
dx


4
2 2
a
x a dx

|
|

\
|

|
|

\
|
+ =
(

=
3
2
3
64
4
3
1
3
2
3 3
3
2 2
3
4
3
2
1
3
2
a
a a
a x
x a
x
x a
a
a


3
65
5
3
4
2
3
+ = a
a
(shown)


4
1
2 2
x a dx can also be interpreted as finding the sum of the areas of regions A and B marked
on the above graph.

(b) Solving


2
0
2 2
2 x x dx


For , 2
2 2
x x y = the graph looks like this for : 2 0 x
y


2 2
2 x x y =
0 1 2 x

4

Hence,


2
0
2 2
2 x x dx

=
1
0
2 2
2 x x dx


2
1
2 2
2 x x dx
2762 . 1 ) 3241 . 0 ( 9521 . 0 = = (shown)

(Note: The above definite integrals were obtained using the GC, but if you wish to manually
integrate them to obtain exact values, to handle the
2
2 x component, you will have to use the
substitution sin 2 = x . )