You are on page 1of 5

# 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