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Shell method to calculate volume of rotation of any surface

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**Another method of find the volumes of solids of revolution is the shell
**

method. It can usually find volumes that are otherwise difficult to evaluate

using the Disc / Washer method.

General formula: V = ∫ 2π (shell radius) (shell height) dx

**The Shell Method (about the y-axis)
**

The volume of the solid generated by revolving about the y-axis the region

between the x-axis and the graph of a continuous function y = f (x), a ≤ x ≤ b

is

b b

V = ∫ 2π [radius ] ⋅ [ shell height ] dx = ∫ 2π x f ( x) dx

a a

Similarly,

**The Shell Method (about the x-axis)
**

The volume of the solid generated by revolving about the x-axis the region

between the y-axis and the graph of a continuous function x = f (y), c ≤ y ≤ d

is

d d

V = ∫ 2π [ radius ] ⋅ [ shell height ] dy = ∫ 2π y f ( y ) dy

c c

**Comment: An easy way to remember which method to use to find the
**

volume of a solid of revolution is to note that the Disc / Washer

method is used if the independent variable of the function(s) and the

axis of rotation is the same (e.g., the area under y = f (x), revolved

about the x-axis); while the Shell method should be used if the

independent variable is different from the axis of rotation (e.g., the

area under x = f (y), revolved about the x-axis).

4 2 x2 2 x3 x4 2 V = ∫ 2πx 2 − dx = 2π ∫ 2 x − dx = 2π x 2 − 0 4 0 4 16 0 24 16 = 2π 2 2 − − (0 − 0) = 2π 4 − = 2π (3) = 6π 16 16 Ex. 0 ≤ y ≤ 2 . Find the volume of the solid generated by revolving about the x-axis the region bounded by the parabola x = y2 and the x-axis. as y goes from 0 to 2 . x goes from 0 to 2). Hence. The height of the shell (= right curve − left curve) is 2 − y2. We will first need to rewrite the function in terms of x: y = x .Ex. the limits of integration are now from x = 0 to x = 2 (since x = y2. Find the volume of the solid generated by revolving about the y-axis the x2 region bounded by the parabola y = 2 − and the x-axis. π 2 π 4π 2 0 2 V = ∫ π ( x ) 2 dx = π ∫ x dx = 0 2 x2 = 2 (2 2 ) − 02 = 2 = 2π 0 . 0 ≤ x ≤ 2. 2 2 2 y4 2 4 V =∫ 2πy (2 − y ) dy = 2π ∫ 2 (2 y − y ) dy = 2π y − 3 = 2π 2 − − 0 + 0 = 2π 0 0 4 0 4 Bonus example 1: Find the above volume using the Disc method instead.

4). and the y-axis. The upper curve is the parabola y = 8 − x2. Their first quadrant intersection is at (2. Find the volume of the solid generated by revolving the first quadrant region bounded by y = 8 − x2. a ≤ x ≤ b is b b V = ∫ 2π [radius ] ⋅ [ shell height ] dx = ∫ 2π x[ F ( x ) − f ( x )] dx a a Notice the shell height is now just the difference of the heights of the 2 curves. F(y) ≥ f (y). therefore. analogous to the Washer method. the volume of the solid generated by revolving about the x-axis the region between the graphs of continuous functions x = F(y) and x = f (y). c ≤ y ≤ d is (About the x-axis) d d V = ∫ 2π [ radius ] ⋅ [ shell height ] dy = ∫ 2π y[ F ( y ) − f ( y )] dy c c Ex. 2 2 2 V = ∫ 2πx ((8 − x 2 ) − 2 x ) dx = 2π ∫ x (8 − 2 x − x 2 ) dx = 2π ∫ (8 x − 2 x 2 − x 3 ) dx 0 0 0 2 x4 2 16 16 20 40π = 2π 4 x 2 − x 3 − = 2π 16 − − − 0 = 2π = 3 4 0 3 4 3 3 . and y = 2x is the lower curve. Similarly. y = 2x.Revolving about an axis the region between 2 curves The version of Shell method. to find the volume of a solid generated by revolving the area between 2 curves about an axis of rotation is: (About the y-axis) The volume of the solid generated by revolving about the y-axis the region between the graphs of continuous functions y = F(x) and y = f (x). F(x) ≥ f (x). about the y-axis.

The axis of rotation. and x = 2. but rather an arbitrary horizontal or vertical line. the volume can be similarly calculated. which is the curve on the left). and the inner radius is r =1 (the distance between the line x = 2 to the axis of rotation). the shell method is to be used. about the line x = 3. Find the volume of the solid generated by revolving the region bounded by y = x3. Ex. y = 0. r = 1). Hence. The height of the shell is f(x) = x3. therefore. r = 3. with some slight adjustments.or y-axis If the axis of rotation is not one of the two coordinate-axes. and when x = 2. 0 ≤ x ≤ 2. Hence. and the radius is 3 − x (as measured from the axis of rotation: when x = 0. 0 ≤ y ≤ 8. x = 3. The washer has an outer radius of R = 3 − y1/3 (as measured from the axis of rotation x = 3 to the farther away of two curves. 2 2 2 V = ∫ 2π [ radius ] ⋅ [ shell height ] dx = ∫ 2π (3 − x ) x 3 dx = 2π ∫ (3 x 3 − x 4 ) dx 0 0 0 3 x5 2 32 28 56π = 2π x 4 − = 2π 12 − − 0 = 2π = 4 5 0 5 5 5 We could also find this volume using the washer method. First the function needs to be rewritten in terms of y: x = f(y) = y1/3.Revolving about a line other than the x. is a line parallel to the y-axis. 8 ( ) 8 ( V = ∫ π [ R( y )]2 − [r ( y )]2 dy = π ∫ [3 − y 1 / 3 ]2 − 12 dy = π 0 0 ) 8 ∫ (9 − 6 y 0 1/ 3 + y 2 / 3 − 1) dy 8 9 3 8 96 − 40 + 96 56π = π ∫ (8 − 6 y 1 / 3 + y 2 / 3 ) dy = π 8 y − y 4 / 3 − y 5 / 3 = π 64 − 72 + − 0 = π = 0 2 5 0 5 5 5 .

. 1 1 2 x4 1 2 1 − 2 1 8π V = ∫ 2π (2 − x ) x 2 dx = 2π ∫ (2 x 2 − x 3 ) dx = 2π x 3 − = 2π − − − = −1 −1 3 4 −1 3 4 3 4 3 Since the distance between any point x to the line x = k along the x-axis is x − k . The axis of rotation. y = 0. therefore. x = 2. i. is a line parallel to the y-axis. Find the volume of the solid generated by revolving the region bounded by y = x2.e. (About the line y = k. −1 ≤ x ≤ 1. and the radius is 2 − x (as measured from the axis of rotation: when x = −1. is b b V = ∫ 2π [ radius ] ⋅ [ shell height ] dx = ∫ 2π x − k [ F ( x ) − f ( x )] dx a a Note that we are integrating with respect to x. Similarly. a line parallel to the y-axis) The volume of the solid generated by revolving about the line x = k the region between the graphs of continuous functions y = F(x) and y = f (x). the shell method is to be used. k not between a and b. k not between c and d) d d V = ∫ 2π [radius ] ⋅ [ shell height ] dy = ∫ 2π y − k [ F ( y ) − f ( y )] dy c c The axis of rotation is parallel to the x-axis. Hence. x = −1.Ex. . and when x = 1. we have (Shell Method. a ≤ x ≤ b. so the integration is done with respect to y. since the axis of rotation is parallel to the y-axis. about the line x = k. and x = 1. about the line x = 2. F(x) ≥ f (x). The height of the shell is f(x) = x2. r = 1). r = 3.

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