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Absolute Convergence of Improper Integrals

Since most of the tests of convergence for improper integrals are only valid
for positive functions, it is legitimate to wonder what happens to improper
integrals involving non positive functions. First notice that there is a very
natural way of generating a positive number from a given number: just take
the absolute value of the number. So consider a function f(x) (not necessarily
positive) defined on [a,b]. Then let us consider the positive function |f(x)| still
defined on [a,b]. It is easy to see that both functions f(x) and |f(x)| will exhibit
the same kind of improper behavior. Therefore, one may ask naturally what
conclusion do we have if we know something about the integral

We have the following partial answer:

If the integral
integral

is convergent, then the
is also convergent.

We have to be careful the converse is not true. Indeed, the improper integral

is convergent while the improper integral

is divergent. This is quite hard to show. On the other hand, it shows that the
convergence of

carries more information than just convergence.

In this case, we say that the improper integral

is absolutely

convergent. And if the improper integral improper integral convergent. We have an improper integral of Type II. We leave it as an exercise to check that the function unbounded around 0. is convergent while the is divergent. Establish the convergence or divergence of Answer. we say it is conditionally Example. Clearly the point 0 is a bad point. Since the function is not positive on . So we must split the integral and write First let us take care of the integral We know that when . Hence we have is indeed . Hence we must consider the improper integral Let us check whether we have a Type I behavior. we will investigate whether the given improper integral is absolutely convergent.

when . Since the improper integral is convergent via the p-test. Next we take care of the improper integral We can not use the limit test since the function does not have a nice behavior around Hence we have for any number x. This clearly implies that the improper integral is absolutely convergent. Since the integral is convergent via the p-test. the basic comparison test implies that the improper integral is convergent. we conclude that the improper integral is convergent. But we know that for any . . Example. the limit test enables us to conclude that the integral is convergent. Therefore putting the two integrals together. Show that the improper integral .

An integration by parts gives . As we mentioned before. 0 is not a bad point since But even if it is not a bad point. Answer. So there is no need of considering the absolute value of the function. Note that the integral is improper obviously because of .is convergent. we will isolate it by writing The integral is not improper. this improper integral is not absolutely convergent. So we concentrate on the integral We know by definition that Now consider the proper integral Since and .

that is is convergent. Indeed. the basic comparison test implies the desired conclusion. Therefore the improper integral is convergent. Since then the improper integral is convergent. we have is in fact absolutely and since by the p-test the improper integral is convergent. .we get Note now that the improper integral convergent.