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# Integration of

Trigonometric
Functions

13.6

Introduction
Integrals involving trigonometric functions are commonplace in engineering mathematics. This
is especially true when modelling waves, and alternating current circuits. When the root-meansquare (rms) value of a waveform, or signal is to be calculated, you will often nd this results
in an integral of the form

sin2 t dt
In this Section you will learn how such integrals can be evaluated.

'

## be able to nd a number of simple denite

and indenite integrals

Prerequisites
Before starting this Section you should . . .
&

Learning Outcomes
After completing this Section you should be
able to . . .

## be able to use a table of integrals

be familiar with standard trigonometric
identities
use trigonometric identities to write integrands in alternative forms to enable
them to be integrated

## 1. Integration of Trigonometric Functions

Simple integrals involving trigonometric functions have already been dealt with in Section 13.1.
See what you can remember:

Write
integrals:
 down the following


a) sin x dx,
b) cos x dx,
c) sin 2x dx,


d)

cos 2x dx

Your solution

## a) cos x + c, b) sin x + c, c) 21 cos 2x + c,

d)

1
2

sin 2x + c.

The basic rules from which these results can be derived are summarised here:

Key Point
cos kx
+c
sin kx dx =
k

cos kx dx =

sin kx
+c
k

## In engineering applications it is often necessary to integrate functions involving powers of the

trigonometric functions such as


2
or
cos2 t dt
sin x dx
Note that these integrals cannot be obtained directly from the formulas in the Key Point above.
However by making use of trigonometric identities the integrands can be re-written in an alternative form. It is often not clear which identities are useful and each case needs to be considered
individually. Experience and practice are essential. Work through the following Guided Exercise.

## to express the integral

sin2 = 12 (1 cos 2)
sin2 x dx in an alternative form.

## HELM (VERSION 1: March 18, 2004): Workbook Level 1

13.6: Integration of Trigonometric Functions

Your solution

## The integral can be written

1
(1
2

cos 2x)dx.

Note from the last exercise that the trigonometric identity was used to convert a power of sin x
into a function involving cos 2x which can be integrated directly using the Key Point above.

## Now nd the indenite integral

sin2 x dx.

Your solution


x 21 sin 2x + c = 21 x 41 sin 2x + K where K = c/2.


1
2

sin x cos x dx

Your solution

1
2

## sin 2x whose indenite integral is is 41 cos 2x + c

Using the result of the previous example write down the value of
 2
sin x cos x dx
0

Your solution

## HELM (VERSION 1: March 18, 2004): Workbook Level 1

13.6: Integration of Trigonometric Functions


2
 2
1
sin x cos x dx = cos 2x + c
4
0
0
1
1
= cos 4 + cos 0
4
4
1 1
= + =0
4 4
This result is one example of what are called orthogonality relations.

2. Orthogonality Relations
In general two functions f (x), g(x) are said to be orthogonal to each other over an interval
a x b if
 b
f (x)g(x) dx = 0
a

It follows from the previous example that sin x and cos x are orthogonal to each other over the
interval 0 x 2 or indeed any other interval x + 2 (e.g. /2 x 5 or
x ).
More generally there is a whole set of orthogonality relations involving these trigonometric
functions on intervals of length 2 (i.e. over one period of both sin x and cos x). These relations
are useful in connection with a widely used technique in engineering, known as Fourier analysis
where we represent periodic functions in terms of an innite series of sines and cosines called a
Fourier series.
We shall demonstrate the orthogonality property
 2
Imn =
sin mx sin nx dx = 0
0

## where m and n are integers such that m = n.

The secret is to use a trigonometric identity to convert the integrand into a form that can be
readily integrated.
You may recall the identity
1
sin A sin B = (cos(A B) cos(A + B))
2
It follows, putting A = mx and B = nx that

1 2
Imn =
[cos(m n)x cos(m + n)x] dx
2 0

2
1 sin(m n)x sin(m + n)x
=

2
(m n)
(m + n)
0
= 0
because (m n) and (m + n) will be integers and sin(integer)2) = 0. Also of course sin 0 = 0.
HELM (VERSION 1: March 18, 2004): Workbook Level 1
13.6: Integration of Trigonometric Functions

## Why does the case m = n have to be excluded from the analysis?

The corresponding orthogonality relation for cosines
 2
cos mx cos nx dx = 0
Jmn =
0

follows by use of a similar identity to that just used. Here again m and n are integers such that
m = n.

## Use the identity

1
sin A cos B = (sin(A + B) + sin(A B))
2
to show that
 2
sin mx cos nx dx = 0
m and n integers, m = n.
Kmn =
0

Your solution

## (recalling that cos((integer) 2) = 1)

= 0
We have, by the given identity,

1 2
[sin(m + n)x + sin(m n)x] dx
Kmn =
2 0

2
1
cos(m + n)x cos(m n)x
=

2
(m + n)
(m n)
0


1 cos(m + n)2 1 cos(m n)2 1
+
2
(m + n)
(m n)
=

Finally show that the orthogonality relation Kmn also holds if m = n. Hint:
You will need to use a dierent trigonometric identity.

## HELM (VERSION 1: March 18, 2004): Workbook Level 1

13.6: Integration of Trigonometric Functions

Your solution

Note that the particular case m = n = 1 was considered earlier in this Section.
Putting m = n, and then using the identity sin 2A = 2 sin A cos A we get

2
sin mx cos mx dx
Kmm =
0

1 2
sin 2mx dx
=
2 0

2
1
cos 2mx
=

2
2m
0
1
=
(cos 4m cos 0)
4m
1
(1 1) = 0
4m
=

Kmn =

sin mx cos mx dx


3. Reduction Formulae
You have seen earlier in this Workbook how to integrate sin x and sin2 x (which is sin x multiplied
by itself). Applications sometimes arise which involve integrating higher powers of sin x or cos x.
It is possible, as we now show, to obtain a reduction formula to aid in this task.
So consider

In = sinn (x) dx

## HELM (VERSION 1: March 18, 2004): Workbook Level 1

13.6: Integration of Trigonometric Functions

Your solution

I2 =

sin2 x dx

I3 =

sin3 x dx

I10 =

sin10 x dx

## To obtain a reduction formula for In we write

sinn x = sinn1 (x) sin x
and use integration by parts.

## In the notation used earlier

in this Workbook put f = sinn1 x and g = sin x

df
and evaluate
and g dx.
dx
Your solution

g dx =

sin x dx = cos x

We have
df
= (n 1) sinn2 x cos x (using the chain rule of dierentiation)
dx



Now use the integration by parts formula on

## sinn1 x sin x dx. (See earlier in the Workbook for

the parts formula if necessary). Do not attempt to evaluate the second integral that you obtain.
Your solution

g dx

## sinn1 x sin x dx = sinn1 (x)



df
dx

sinn2 x cos2 x dx
g dx



7

## HELM (VERSION 1: March 18, 2004): Workbook Level 1

13.6: Integration of Trigonometric Functions

Putting cos2 x = 1 sin2 x in the integral on the right-hand side, this integral becomes:


n2
sin (x) dx sinn (x) dx
so nally

In =


sin

n1

n1

## (x)( cos x)+(n1)


sin

n2

(x) dx(n1)

sinn (x) dx

or
In = sinn1 (x) cos x + (n 1)In2 (n 1)In
from which
1
n1
()
In2
In = sinn1 (x) cos x +
n
n
This is our reduction formula for In . It enables us, for example, to evaluate I6 in terms of I4 ,
then I4 in terms of I2 and indeed I2 in terms of I0 where


0
I0 = sin x dx = 1 dx = x.

Your solution

## (NOTE: here and elsewhere we are omitting the constant of integration.)

as obtained earlier by a dierent technique.
i.e.

1
1
I2 = [sin x cos x] + I0
2
2
1 1
x
= [ sin 2x] +
2 2
2

1
x
sin2 x dx = sin 2x +
4
2

Use the reduction formula () to obtain I6 =

## HELM (VERSION 1: March 18, 2004): Workbook Level 1

13.6: Integration of Trigonometric Functions

Your solution

1
3
I4 = sin3 x cos x + I2
4
4
1
5
I6 = sin5 x cos x + I4
6
6
Then, by () with n = 4
Using () with n = 6
Now substitute for I2 from the previous exercise to obtain I4 and hence I6 .

Your solution

5
1
5
5
I6 = sin5 x cos x
sin3 x cos x
sin 2x + x
6
24
32
16

I4 = 41 sin3 x cos x

3
16

sin 2x + 83 x

Denite integrals can also be readily evaluated using the reduction formula (). For example,
 /2
sin nx dx
In =
0

/2

sinn2 x dx

so In2 =
0

We obtain, immediately
/2 n 1
1
sinn1 (x) cos x 0 +
In2
In =
n
n
or, since cos 2 = sin 0 = 0,
(n 1)
In2
n
This simple easy-to-use formula is well known and is called Wallis formula.
In =

## HELM (VERSION 1: March 18, 2004): Workbook Level 1

13.6: Integration of Trigonometric Functions

/2

If In =
0

## further integration, to obtain I3 and I5 .

Your solution

/2
8
4
4 2
sin5 x dx = I3 = =
5
5 3
15

/2
2
2
2
sin3 x dx = I1 = 1 =
3
3
3

I5 =

I3 =


I1 =

 /2
0

## sin x dx = [ cos x]0

/2

=1
The total power P of an antenna is given by

L2 I 2
sin3 d
P =
2
4
0

## where , , Iare constants as is the length L of antenna. Using the reduction

formula for

sinn x , obtain P .

Your solution

## HELM (VERSION 1: March 18, 2004): Workbook Level 1

13.6: Integration of Trigonometric Functions

10

If I1 =

I3 =

L2 I 2
42

## then by the reduction formula () with n = 3

 2
4
1
2
sin2 x cos x 0 + I1 = 2 =
I3 =
3
3
3
3

L2 I 2
32

Hence P =

sin3 d =

sin d = [ cos ]0 = 2
0

sin3 d.

## Ignoring the constants for the moment, consider



A similar reduction formula to () can be obtained for
if

/2

cosn x dx then Jn =

Jn =
0

(n1)
Jn2
n

## 4. Harder Trigonometric Integrals

The following seemingly innocent integrals are examples, important in engineering, of trigonometric integrals that cannot be evaluated as indenite integrals:

(a)


2

sin(x ) dx

and

cos(x2 ) dx

## These are called Fresnel integrals.


sin x
dx
(b)
x
This is called the Sine integral.
Denite integrals of this type, which are what normally arise in applications, have to be evaluated by approximate numerical methods.
Fresnel integrals with limits arise in wave and antenna theory and the Sine integral with limits
in lter theory.
It is useful sometimes to be able to visualize the denite integral. For example consider
 t
sin x
dx
t>0
F (t) =
x
0
11

## HELM (VERSION 1: March 18, 2004): Workbook Level 1

13.6: Integration of Trigonometric Functions


Clearly, F (0) =
0

sin x
sin x
dx = 0. Recall the graph of
against x, x > 0:
x
x
sin x
x

For any positive value of t, F (t) is the shaded area shown (the area interpretation of a denite
integral was covered earlier in this Workbook). As t increases from 0 to , it follows that F (t)
increases from 0 to a maximum value

sin x
F () =
dx
x
0
whose value could be determined numerically (it is actually about 1.85). As t further increases
sin x
curve
from to 2 the value of F (t) will decrease to a local minimum at 2 because the
x
is below the x-axis between and 2.
Continuing to argue in this way we can obtain the shape of the F (t) graph as follows: (can you
see why the oscillations decrease in amplitude?)
F (t)
1.85

The result

sin x

dx =
x
2
0
is clear from the graph (you are not expected to know how this result is obtained). Such problems
are dealt with in Workbook 31.

## HELM (VERSION 1: March 18, 2004): Workbook Level 1

13.6: Integration of Trigonometric Functions

12

Exercises
You will need to refer to a Table of Trigonometric Identities to answer these questions.

 /2

1. Find a) cos2 xdx b) 0 cos2 tdt c) (cos2 + sin2 )d

2. Use the
identity
sin(A
+
B)
+
sin(A

B)
=
2
sin
A
cos
B
to
nd
sin 3x cos 2xdx

3. Find (1 + tan2 x)dx.
4. The mean square value of a function f (t) over the interval t = a to t = b is dened to be
1
ba

(f (t))2 dt
a

## Find the mean square value of f (t) = sin t over the

 interval t = 0 to t = 2.
5(a) Show that the reduction formula for Jn = cosn x dx is
1
(n 1)
cosn1 (x) sin x +
Jn2
n
n
(b) Using the above reduction formula show that

1
4
8
cos2 x sin x +
sin x
cos5 x dx = cos4 x sin x +
5
15
15
Jn =

## (c) Show that if

 /2
n1
n
Jn =
cos x dx then Jn =
Jn2 (Wallis formula).
n
0
(d) Using Wallis formula show that
 /2
5
cos6 x dx = .
32
0
Answers
4. 21 .

1
1. a) 21 x + 41 sin 2x + c. b). /4. c). + c. 2. 10
cos 5x 21 cos x + c. 3. tan x + c.

13

## HELM (VERSION 1: March 18, 2004): Workbook Level 1

13.6: Integration of Trigonometric Functions