Duhamel’s Theorem
Example (1)
A semi infinite solid is initially at zero temperature. For time t > 0 the boundary
surface at x = 0 is kept at temperature f (t). Obtain an expression for the temperature distribution
T(x,t) in the solid for times t > 0.
Solution: The mathematical formulation of this problem is given as
The auxiliary problem is taken as
Then the solution of the problem (11) is given in term of the solution of the problem (12) by
the Duhamel’s theorem (13 ) as:
∫
The solution of the auxiliary problem (12) is obtainable from the solution T(x,t) given
by equation
(
√
)
by the relation and setting the equation(14) T
0
=1. Thus we obtain
(
√
) (
√
)
√
∫
√ ⁄
Then
√
⁄
*
+
Introducing equation (16) into equation (13) the solution of the problem (11) becomes
√
∫
⁄
*
+
This result can be put into a different form by defining a new variable as
√
Introducing equation (18) into equation (17), we obtain
√
∫
(
)
√ ⁄
We now consider a special case of solution (19); if the surface temperature is a periodic function
of time in the form
The solution (19) becomes
√
∫
*(
) +
√ ⁄
Or
√
∫
*(
) +
√
∫
*(
) +
√ ⁄
The first definite integral can be evaluated, then
* (
)
+ * (
)
+
√
∫
*(
) +
√ ⁄
Here the second term on the right represents the transients that die away as t , and the first
term represent the steady oscillation of temperature in the medium after the transient have
passed.
Example (2)
A slab, is initially at zero temperature. For times t > 0 the boundary at the surfaces at
x = 0 and x = L are kept at temperatures f
1
(t) and f
2
(t) , respectively. Obtain an expression for the
temperature distribution T(x,t) in the slab for times t > 0.
Solution:
The mathematical formulation of this problem is given as
The auxiliary problem is taken as
Where
are considered independent of time. The solution of the auxiliary
problem (22) is obtainable from
∑
∫
∑
[
]
by setting in equation (23)
[
∑
]
[
∑
]
Then
[
∑
]
[
∑
]
And by Duhamel’s theorem
∫
the solution of problem (21) is given as
∫
Introducing equation (25) into equation (27) we obtain
∑
∫
∑
∫
Where
⁄ . This solution seems to vanish at x = 0 and x = L, instead of converging to
the boundary condition function f
1
(t) and f
2
(t) at these locations. The reason for this is that the
term associated with the boundarycondition functions are in the form of Fourier series that are
not uniformly convergent at these locations. This difficulty can be alleviated by integrating
equation (28) by parts and replacing such series by their equivalent closedform expression as
now described.
We write equation (28) in the form
∑
∑
Where
∫
The integral terms is evaluated by parts as
∫
(
)
, [
]
∫

*
∫
+
Equation (211) is introduced into equation (28)
∑
∑
∑
*
∫
+
∑
*
∫
+
Closed form expression can readily be obtained for the first two series on the right hand side of
the equation (212) as:
∑
∑
Introducing equation (213) into equation (212), the solution becomes
(
)
∑
*
∫
+
∑
*
∫
+
This solution given in this form clearly shows that at x = 0 and x = L this solution reduces to f
1
(t)
and f
2
(t), respectively.
Example (3)
A solid cylinder is initially at zero temperature. For times t > 0 boundary surfaces at
r = b is kept at temperatures T = f(t), which varies with time. Obtain an expression for the
temperature distribution T(r, t) in the cylinder for time t > 0
Solution:
The mathematical formulation of this problem is given as
The auxiliary problem is taken as
The solution of the problem (31) can be written in the term of the solution of the auxiliary
problem (32) by Duhamel’s theorem as
∫
If is the solution of the problem for a solid cylinder , initially at temperature
unity and for times t > 0, the boundary surface at r = b is kept at zero temperature, then the
solution for is obtainable from the solution (34)
∑
by setting T
0
=1 in that equation ; we find
∑
Where
are positive roots of
The solution of the auxiliary problem (32) is obtainable from the solution
given by equation (35) as
∑
Introducing equation (36) into equation (33) , the solution of the problem (31) becomes
∑
∫
Where
are the roots of
The solution for the T(r, t) given by equation (37) does not explicitly show that
. This result can be expressed in alternative form by integrating integral term by
parts as has been done in the previous example (2). We obtain:
∑
∑
*
∫
+
We note that the solution (35) for t=0 should be equal to the initial temperature
thus:
∑
Which gives the desired closedform expression for the first series on the right hand side of
equation (38). Then the solution (38) is written as
∑
∑
*
∫
+
The solution given in this form clearly shows that T(r, t) = f(t) at r = b.
Example (4)
A solid cylinder is initially at zero temperature. For times t > 0 heat is generated in
the solid at rate of g(t) per unit volume and boundary surfaces at the surfaces at r = b is kept at
zero temperature. Obtain an expression for the temperature distribution T(r, t) in the cylinder for
times t > 0
Solution:
The mathematical formulation of this problem is given as
The auxiliary problem is taken as
The the solution of the problem (41) is related to the solution of the auxiliary problem (42) by
Duhamel’s theorem as
∫
∑
∑
∫
The solution auxiliary problem (42) is obtainable from equation (44) by setting g
0
=1 and
F(r)=0; we find
∑
Where
are the positive roots of
Introducing equation (45) into (43) we obtain
∑
∫