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# S.

Ghorai 1

Lecture XVIII
Unit step function, Laplace Transform of Derivatives and Integration, Derivative and
Integration of Laplace Transforms

## 1 Unit step function ua(t)

Definition 1. The unit step function (or Heaviside function) ua (t) is defined

0, t<a
ua (t) =
1, t > a.
This function acts as a mathematical ‘on-off’ switch as can be seen from
 the Figure 1.
It has been shown in Example 1 of Lecture Note 17 that for a > 0, L ua (t) = e−as /s.

u a(t)

a b t

f(t)

u a(t) f(t)

u a(t) f(t−a)

## Example 1. Consider the function

 t2 , 0 ≤ t ≤ 1,
f (t) = sin 2t, 1 < t ≤ π,
cos t, t>π

S. Ghorai 2

## Now let us consider a function g defined by

   
g(t) = u0 (t) − u1 (t) t2 + u1 (t) − uπ (t) sin 2t + uπ (t) cos t.

## Now f (t) is piecewise continuous function. Hence, Laplace transform of f exists.

Clearly f (t) = g(t) at all t except possibly at a finite number points t = 0, 1, π where
f (t) possibly has jump discontinuity. Hence, using Uniqueness
 Theorem
 of Laplace
Transform (see Lecture Note 17), we conclude that L f (t) = L g(t) .
 
Theorem 1. (Second shifting theorem) If L f (t) = F (s), then
 
L ua (t)f (t − a) = e−as F (s).

Conversely,  
L−1 e−as F (s) = ua (t)f (t − a).

## Proof: From the definition of Laplace transform

  Z ∞
L ua (t)f (t − a) = e−st ua (t)f (t − a) dt
Z0 ∞
= e−st f (t − a) dt
a
Z ∞
−as
= e e−su f (u) du, t−a=u
0
= e−as F (s).

## Example 2. Find the Laplace transform of

 t2 , 0 ≤ t ≤ 1,
f (t) = sin 2t, 1 < t ≤ π,
cos t, t>π

## Solution: We know that if

   
g(t) = u0 (t) − u1 (t) t2 + u1 (t) − uπ (t) sin 2t + uπ (t) cos t,

then F (s) = G(s). Now we write g(t) in such a way that second shifting theorem (see
Theorem 1) can be applied. Hence, we manipulate g(t) in the following way:

g(t) = u0 (t)t2 − u1 (t)(t − 1 + 1)2 + u1 (t) sin[2(t − 1) + 2] − uπ (t) sin[2(t − π)] − uπ (t) cos(t − π)
= u0 (t)t2 − u1 (t)(t − 1)2 − 2u1 (t)(t − 1) − u1 (t) + cos(2)u1 (t) sin[2(t − 1)]
+ sin(2)u1 (t) cos[2(t − 1)] + uπ (t) sin[2(t − π)] − uπ (t) cos(t − π)

S. Ghorai 3

## Now we know that

  1  1   2   s   1
L 1 = , L t = 2 , L t2 = 3 , L cos t = 2 , L sin t = 2
s s s s +1 s +1
and   s   2
L cos 2t = , L sin 2t =
s2 + 4 s2 + 4
Hence,
2 2e−s 2e−s e−s 2e−s cos 2 s sin 2e−s 2e−πs se−πs
F (s) = − − − + + + −
s3 s3 s2 s s2 + 4 s2 + 4 s2 + 4 s2 + 1

## 2 Laplace transform of derivatives and integrals

Theorem 2. Let f (t) be continuous for t ≥ 0 and is of exponential order. Further
 
suppose that f is differentiable with f 0 piecewise continuous in [0, ∞). Then L f 0
exists and is given by    
0
L f = sL f − f (0). (1)

## Proof: Since f 0 is piecewise continuous in [0, ∞), f 0 is piecewise continuous in [0, R]

for any R > 0. Let xi , i = 0, 1, 2, · · · , n are the possible points of jump discontinuity
where x0 = 0 and xn = R. Now
Z R Xn−1 Z xi+1
−st 0
e f (t) = e−st f 0 (t) dt
0 i=0 xi
n−1 n−1 Z xi+1
X
−st
xi+1 X
= e f (t) xi + s
e−st f (t) dt
i=0 i=0 xi
Z R
= e−sR f (R) − f (0) + s −st
e f (t) dt
0

## Hence taking R → ∞, we find

   
L f 0 = sL f − f (0). (2)

Corollary 1. Let f and its derivatives f (1) , f (2) , · · · , f (n−1) be continuous for t ≥ 0 and
are of exponential order. Further suppose that f (n) is piecewise continuous in [0, ∞).
Then Laplace transform of f (n) exists and is given by
   
(n)
L f = s L f − sn−1 f (0) − sn−2 f (1) (0) − · · · − f (n−1) (0).
n
(3)

## In particular for n = 2, we get

   
L f 00 = s2 L f − sf (0) − f 0 (0). (4)
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## Proof: for n = 2, use (2) twice to find

   
L f 00 = sL f 0 ) − f 0 (0)
   
= s sL f − f (0) − f 0 (0)
 
= s2 L f − sf (0) − f 0 (0).

## For general n, prove by induction.

Example 3. Find Laplace transform of
t cos(ωt).

## Solution: Since f (t) = t cos(ωt), we find

f 0 (t) = −ωt sin(ωt) + cos(ωt)
and
f 00 (t) = −ω 2 f (t) − 2ω sin(ωt).
Hence taking Laplace transform on both sides, we find
     
00 2
L f = −ω L f − 2ωL sin(ωt)

Hence,     ω
s2 L f − sf (0) − f 0 (0) = −ω 2 L f − 2ω .
s2 + ω2
Now f (0) = 0, f 0 (0) = 1. Simplifying, we find
  s2 − ω 2
L f = 2
(s + ω 2 )2
Theorem 3. Let F (s) be the Laplace transform of f . If f is piecewise continuous in
[0, ∞) and is of exponential order, then
Z t  F (s)
L f (τ ) dτ = . (5)
0 s
Proof: Since f is piecewise continuous,
Z t
g(t) = f (τ ) dτ
0

is continuous. Since f (t) is piecewise continuous, |f (t)| ≤ M ekt for all t ≥ 0 except
possibly at finite number of points where f has jump discontinuities. Hence,
Z t
M kt M kt
|g(t)| ≤ M ekτ dτ = (e − 1) ≤ e .
0 k k
Thus, g is continuous and is of exponential order. Hence, Laplace transform of g exists.
Further g 0 (t) = f (t) and g(0) = 0. Using (2), we find
 
0
   
0
  F (s)
L g = sL g − g(0) =⇒ L g = sL g =⇒ G(s) = .
s
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## Example 4. Find the inverse Laplace transform of 1/s(s + 1)2 .

Solution: Since  1 
−t
 1
L t = 2 =⇒ L te =
s (s + 1)2
Hence for f (t) = te−t , we have F (s) = 1/(s + 1)2 . Thus,
  Z t
1 F (s) −1 1
= =⇒ L = τ e−τ dτ = 1 − (t + 1)e−t
s(s + 1)2 s s(s + 1)2 0

## Theorem 4. If F (s) is the Laplace transform of f , then

   
L − tf (t) = F 0 (s), and L−1 F 0 (s) = −tf (t). (6)

Comment: The derivative formula for F (s) can be derived by differentiating under
the integral sign, i.e.
d ∞ −st
Z
0
F (s) = e f (t) dt
ds 0
Z ∞
∂ −st 
= e f (t) dt
∂s
Z0 ∞
= e−st (−tf (t)) dt
0
 
= L − tf (t) .

## Example 5. Consider the same problem as in Example 3, i.e. Laplace transform of

t cos(ωt). Let f (t) = cos(ωt). Then

s 0 ω 2 − s2
F (s) = =⇒ F (s) = .
s2 + ω 2 (s2 + ω 2 )2

## Hence using (6), we find

  ω 2 − s2   s2 − ω 2
L − t cos(ωt) = 2 =⇒ L t cos(ωt) = .
(s + ω 2 )2 (s2 + ω 2 )2
Example 6. Find the inverse Laplace transform of
 
s−a
F (s) = ln
s−b
   
Solution: If L f (t) = F (s), then L tf (t) = −F 0 (s). Hence

  1 1   ebt − eat
L tf (t) = − = L ebt − eat =⇒ f (t) = .
s−b s−a t
S. Ghorai 6

Theorem 5. If F (s) is the Laplace transform of f and the limit of f (t)/t exists as
t → 0+ , then
  Z ∞ Z ∞
f (t) −1
 f (t)
L = F (p) dp, and L F (p) dp = . (7)
t s s t

Proof: Let
f (t)
g(t) = f (t)/t, and g(0) = lim+ .
t→0 t
Now    
F (s) = L f (t) =⇒ F (s) = L tg(t) = −G0 (s), [using (6)]
Hence, Z A
G(s) = F (p) dp.
s

## Since G(s) → 0 as s → ∞, we must have

Z A
0= F (p) dp

Thus,
Z A Z A Z ∞   Z ∞
f (t)
G(s) = F (p) dp− F (p) dp =⇒ G(s) = F (p) dp =⇒ L = F (p) dp.
s ∞ s t s

## Example 7. Find the Laplace transform of

sin ωt
.
t

Solution: Let f (t) = sin ωt. Using the formula (7), we find
  Z ∞
sin ωt ω π −1 s
 
L = dp = − tan .
t s p2 + ω 2 2 ω

Example 8. Consider the same problem as in Example 6, i.e. inverse Laplace trans-
form of  
s−a
F (s) = ln
s−b
Solution: Note that
  Z ∞ Z ∞  bt   at 
  s−a 1 1 e e
L f (t) = ln = dp − dp = L −L
s−b s s−b s s−a t t

Hence,  bt
e − eat ebt − eat
  
L f (t) = L =⇒ f (t) = .
t t