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# THE METHOD OF INTEGRATION BY PARTIAL FRACTIONS

This method is based on the simple concept of adding fractions by getting a common denominator. For example,

## so that we can now say that a partial fractions decomposition for

is

First we review a few terms. The most general polynomial is an equation of the form

The

## is called the order of the polynomial.

What we would like to be able to do is find a partial fractions decomposition for a given function. For example, what would be a partial fractions decomposition for denominator, getting ( Now assume that there are constants ( and )( so that ) )( ) ? Begin by factoring the

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## THE METHOD OF INTEGRATION BY PARTIAL FRACTIONS

It can be shown that such constants always exist for the rational function ( ) ( ), ( ) , if the both ( ) and ( ) are polynomials and the degree of ( ) is smaller than the degree of ( ). The following general rules apply for the method of partial fractions 1. If the degree of ( ) is equal to or greater than the degree of ( ), use polynomial long division in order to rewrite the given rational function as the sum of a polynomial and a remainder (a new rational function with ( ) having larger degree than ( )). 2. Factor the denominator as much as possible. Assume the final form looks like ( where ) ( ) ).

## cannot be further factored (for example,

) in the denominator result in terms where is the order of the 3. Repeated factors ( ) in the denominator there will be 3 terms factor. For example, if after factoring there is ( resulting ( ) ( )

4. Terms in the denominator that cannot be further factored will generate a term that has a numerator of one degree lower. So, for example, if the form is (degree 2 polynomial) the numerator for that term would be (degree 1 polynomial). The following example illustrates the partial fractions decomposition of a rational function, where the linear factor is repeated three times and the irreducible quadratic factor is repeated twice.

) (

Example 1

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## THE METHOD OF INTEGRATION BY PARTIAL FRACTIONS

Since the fractions in the above equation have the same denominators, it follows that their numerators must be equal. Thus, ( ) ( )

The right-hand side of this equation can be considered a function of which is equal to 6 for all values of . Grouping like coefficients and recognizing that is a quadratic of the form we obtain ( This yields two equations and two unknowns, namely ) ( )

Note that in the most general case we would have equations and unknowns, where is the order of ( ) in the denominator. These are very easy to solve by inspection. The first is and ( ) substituting into the second yields , so and

After getting familiar with this process, in order to save some time, get in the habit of going from the Equation 1 directly to Equation 2 by recognizing that we can "cross-multiply" the terms on the right to determine the numerators. Example 2

## Factoring the denominator and applying our rules ( )

Cross multiplying on the right to get the numerator term: ( ( Comparing the coefficients of same powers of ) on both sides we get ) ( )

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## THE METHOD OF INTEGRATION BY PARTIAL FRACTIONS

Substituting in for A in the first equation yields

and so

Example 3

## Factoring the denominator and applying rules ( )( )

Cross multiplying right-hand side for numerator ( Combining like terms ( Which means ) ( ) ) ( )

This can be solved by substitution or by subtracting 4x the first equation from the second to yield

So

and we obtain ( ) ( )

)(

NOTE: Wolfram has a partial fraction calculator online so you can check your homework answers: http://www.wolframalpha.com/widgets/view.jsp?id=ec4a062bb304f88c2ba0b631d7acabbc REFERENCE : Information was taken from "Method of integration by partial fractions" https://www.math.ucdavis.edu/~kouba/CalcTwoDIRECTORY/partialfracdirectory/

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## THE METHOD OF INTEGRATION BY PARTIAL FRACTIONS

Example 4 ( This is already factored so applying our rules ) ( )

) (

A simple "cross-multiplying method" won't work here. Instead recognizing that you need to multiply the numerators on the right by a term that yields the denominator on the left, we get ( ( Expanding and combining like terms ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( )( ) ( ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )( )( )( ) ) ) ( ) )( )( )( ) )( )( )( ) ) ) ) )( ) ) ) ( )( ) ) ( ( )( ) ( ) )( ( ) )

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## THE METHOD OF INTEGRATION BY PARTIAL FRACTIONS

Combining like terms ( ( ( ( ( ( ( Equating terms we obtain 7 equations and 7 unknowns ) ) ) ) ) ) )

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## THE METHOD OF INTEGRATION BY PARTIAL FRACTIONS

EXTRA CREDIT (20 pts): Integrate the following rational expression. Requires: partial fraction decomposition, reducing an 8x8 matrix to row-echelon form and back substituting, and trigonometric substitution to solve two of the resulting integrals. ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ( ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ( )( )( )( ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ( )( )( )( ) ) ) ) )( )( )( )( )( ) )( )( )( ) ( ) ) ( ) ( ) )( ) )( )( ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ( ) ( ) ( ( )( ( ) ) ) ) ( )

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## THE METHOD OF INTEGRATION BY PARTIAL FRACTIONS

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