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THE TEACHING OF MATHEMATICS

2008, Vol. XI, 2, pp. 97103


Sanjay K. Khattri
FOURIER SERIES AND LAPLACE TRANSFORM
THROUGH TABULAR INTEGRATION
Abstract. This article is intended for rst year undergraduate students. In
this work, we explore the technique of tabular integration, and apply it for evaluating
Fourier series and Laplace transform.
ZDM Subject Classication: 00A35; AMS Subject Classication: I55.
Key words and phrases: Fourier series, Laplace transform, tabular integration.
Introduction
Integration by parts and tabular integration are used to integrate product of
two functions. The technique of tabular integration is very well known [1, 2]. But
still it has not nd its way into textbooks [3]. Traditionally we teach integration of
product of two functions by technique of integration by parts. It is our experience
that students take more time to learn and successfully apply this technique. Espe-
cially when we need to repeatedly apply the technique of integration by parts. We
nd that students make mistakes. On the other hand, we nd that students easily
apply the tabular integration technique even in complex situations. Classically the
technique of integration by parts is given as follows:
(1)
_
udv = uv
_
v du.
In the above equation, it is preferred to choose as u a function which is easy to
dierentiate, and whose derivative may vanish. Such as polynomial functions. In
many situations, we may need to repeatedly employ the integration by parts until
the dierentiation of u vanishes. Let us implement the technique of integration by
parts for evaluating the integral
(2) I =
_
x
2
sinxdx.
Since the third derivative of x
2
is null, it is appropriate to pick x
2
as u. Thus,
u = x
2
and dv = sinxdx,
du = 2xdx and
_
dv =
_
sinxdx,
du = 2xdx and v = cos x.
98 S. K. Khattri
Substituting u, v, dv and du in the equation (1), we obtain
(3)
_
x
2
sinxdx = x
2
cos x + 2
_
xcos xdx.
Now for evaluating
_
x cos xdx, we again need to use the integration by parts. Let
us now choose:
u = x and dv = cos xdx,
du = dx and
_
dv =
_
cos xdx,
du = dx and v = sinx.
Substituting u, v, dv and du in the equation (1), we obtain
_
xcos xdx = xsinx
_
sinxdx = xsinx + cos x.
(We omit the integration constant.) Now substitution the above integral in the
equation (3) gives the desrired integral:
_
x
2
sinxdx = x
2
cos x + 2(xsinx + cos x)
= x
2
cos x + 2xsinx + 2 cos x.
Let us now evaluate the same integral by using tabular integration. In this
technique, we form a table consisting of two columns. The rst column contains
successive derivatives of the function which is easy to derivate or whose higher order
derivatives may vanish. After that, all entries of the rst column are alternately
appended with plus or minus signs. While, the second column contains successive
integrals (antiderivatives). The rst column is designated by D and the second
one by I. Now the last step is to nd the successive terms of the integral. They
are given by multiplying each entry in the rst column by the entry in the second
one which lies just below it. Finally the integral is equal to the sum of the terms
obtained. For evaluating the integral (2), we can form Table 1. Thus by the tabular
integration:
_
x
2
sinxdx = x
2
cos x + 2xsinx 2 cos x + 0
= x
2
cos x + 2xsinx + 2 cos x.
The number of terms is nite only if the higher order derivatives of the function
u vanish. For example, the third order derivative of the function x
2
is null (see
Table 1). Otherwise at any level the process of integration can be terminated by
forming a remainder term dened as the integral od the product of the entry in the
rst column and the entry in the second column that lies directly across it.
Fourier series and Laplace transform 99
Table 1. Table for integrating
_
x
2
sinxdx Table 2. Table for integrating
_
f(x)g(x) dx
Let us now understand the tabular integration through the integration
_
f(x)g(x) dx.
Table 2 is the integration table for this integral. In this table, f
i
(x) denotes the i
th
derivative of the function f(x). While, g
[i]
denotes the i
th
integration (antideriva-
tive) of g(x). From Table 2, the integration is:
_
f(x)g(x) dx = f(x)g
[1]
(x) + f
2
(x)g
[3]
(x)
+ (1)
n
f
n
(x)g
[n+1]
(x) + (1)
n+1
_
f
n+1
(x)g
[n+1]
(x) dx
=
n

i=0
(1)
i
f
i
(x)g
[i]
(x) + (1)
n+1
_
f
n+1
(x)g
[n+1]
(x) dx.
Let us now apply the tabular integration technique for nding the Fourier
series of the following even function:
f(x) = x
2k
, x .
The Fourier series is given as:
(4) f(x) = a
0
+

n=0
[a
n
sinnx + b
n
cos nx].
Here,
a
0
=
1
2
_

f(x) dx, a
n
=
1

f(x) cos nxdx, b


n
=
1

f(x) sinnxdx.
Let us rst evaluate a
0
.
a
0
=
1
2
_

i
x
2k
dx =
2
2
_

0
x
2k
dx [since x
2k
is even] (5)
=
1

_
x
2k+1
2k + 1
_

0
=

2k
2k + 1
.
100 S. K. Khattri
Table 3. Table for integrating
_
f(x) cos nxdx. Function f(x) is dierentiated 2k + 1 times,
while cos nx is integrated 2k1 times.
b
n
= 0 since x
2k
sinnx is odd. Let us evaluate a
n
.
a
n
=
1

f(x) cos nxdx =


2

_

0
f(x) cos nxdx [f(x) cos nx is even].
Table 3 is our integration table for the above integral. Integrating by parts 2k + 1
times gives:
_

0
f(x) cos nxdx =
_
f(x)
sinnx
n
+ f
1
(x)
cos nx
n
2
f
2
(x)
sinnx
n
3
f
3
(x)
cos nx
n
4
+ + (1)
k1
f
2k1
(x)
cos nx
n
2k
+ (1)
k
f
2k
(x)
sinnx
n
2k+1
_

0
+ (1)
k+1
_

0
f
2k+1
(x)
sinnx
n
2k+1
dx.
Fourier series and Laplace transform 101
Since sinn = sin0 = 0, the previous integral is equal to
=
_
f
1
(x)
cos nx
n
2
f
3
(x)
cos nx
n
4
+ + (1)
k1
f
2k1
(x)
cos nx
n
2k
_

0
+ (1)
k+1
_

0
f
2k+1
(x)
sinnx
n
2k+1
dx
=
_
k

i=1
(1)
i1
f
2i1
(x) cos nx
n
2i
_

0
+ (1)
k+1
_

0
f
2k+1
(x)
sinnx
n
2k+1
dx.
Now for the function f(x) = x
2k
,
f
2i1
(x) = 2k (2k 1) (2k 2) . . . (2k 2i + 2)x
2k2i+1
=
(2k)!
(2k 2i + 1)!
x
2k2i+1
and f
2k+1
= 0, and thus
_

0
f(x) cos nxdx =
_
k

i=1
(1)
i1
(2k)!
(2k 2i + 1)!
x
2k2i+1

cos nx
n
2i
_

0
.
Since cos n = (1)
n
, we have
_

0
f(x) cos nxdx =
k

i=1
(1)
i1
(2k)!
(2k 2i + 1)!

2k2i+1

(1)
n
n
2i
.
Substituting the above integral in the equation gives a
n
:
a
n
=
2

i=1
(1)
i1
(2k)!
(2k 2i + 1)!

2k2i+1

(1)
n
n
2i
.
Substituting a
0
, a
n
and b
n
in the equation (4) we nally obtain
(6) x
2k
=

2k
2k + 1
=

n=1
_
2

i=1
(1)
i1
(2k)!
2k=2i+1
(2k 2i + 1)!

(1)
n
n
2i
_
cos nx,
for x . Substituting x = 0 and k = 1 in the equation (6) gives:

n=1
(1)
n+1
n
2
=

2
12
.
Similarly, substituting x = and k = 1, resp. x = 0 and k = 2, gives:

n=1
1
n
2
=

2
6
, resp.

n=1
(1)
n+1
n
4
=
7
4
720
.
102 S. K. Khattri
Table 4. Table for evaluating Laplace transform L{sint}.
Let us now apply the technique of tabular integration for nding Laplace trans-
forms. Laplace transform of a function f(t) is dened as
(7) F(s) = L{f(t)} =
_

0
f(t)e
st
dt = lim
T
_
T
0
f(t)e
st
dt.
Let us nd out the Laplace transform of sint. For evaluating it, we can form
Table 4.
L{sint} =
_

0
e
st
sint dt
=
_
e
st
sint
s

e
st
cos t
s
2
_


2
s
2
_

0
e
st
sint dt
. .
L{sin t}
and thus
L{sint}
_
1 +

2
s
2
_
= lim
T
_
sinT
se
sT

cos T
s
2
e
sT
_
. .
0

_
0

s
2
_
,
L{sint} =

s
2
+
2
.
Let us now nd the Laplace transform of t
n
e
at
. Table 5 presents tabular
integration technique for evaluating this transform. Using the table, we obtain
L{t
n
e
at
} =
_

0
t
n
e
(as)t
dt
=
_
t
n
e
(as)t
a s

nt
(n1)
e
(as)t
(a s)
2
+
n(n 1)t
n2
e
(as)t
(a s)
3

+ (1)
n
n! e
(as)t
(a s)
n+1
_
0
=
(1)
n+1
n!
(a s)
n+1
=
n!
(s a)
n+1
.
Fourier series and Laplace transform 103
Table 5. Table for evaluating Laplace transform L{t
n
e
t
}.
For the purpose of exposition, we may see that for s > a:
lim
T
T
n
e
(as)T
a s
= lim
T
T
n
(a s)e
(sa)T
= 0
(applying LHospital rule n times).
REFERENCES
1. D. Horowitz, Tabular integration by parts, The College Mathematics Journal, 21, 1990.
2. L. Gillman, More on tabular integration by parts, The College Mathematics Journal, 22, 1991.
3. G. Thomas, M. Weir, J. Hass, F. Giordano, Thomas Calculus, 11th ed., Pearson Addison
Wesley, 2007.
Stord Haugesund Engineering College, Norway
E-mail : sanjay.khattri@hsh.no