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Applications of Integration Summary

1. Understand the idea of the area under a curve as the limit of a sum of the
areas of rectangles.

Let A = ∫ 0
y dx .

Estimate A using n rectangles will tend towards

∫ 0
y dx when n goes to ∞ .

2 Find area using Cartesian equation or Parametric equations.

- Sketch the curve and identify the area required.
b d
- State the formula to evaluate the area using ∫ a
y dx or ∫ c
x dy or mixtures of them.
- Notice that there are two variables in the formulae.
For Cartesian equation, convert to one variable for integration by either changing y in terms
of x or x in terms of y.
For Parametric equations, convert to one variable for integration by changing both x and y
in terms of t.

3. Two perspectives of finding area.

Either make use of integration against the x- or y-axis. For example, we wish to find the area
of R as shown below.

b y= f(x) Area of R =Area of rectangle − Area of S

S a b

R ∫0
y dx = ab − ∫ x dy
0 a
1. Special solids generated by R (bounded by straight lines)
(a) (b) (c)

2. Volumes of revolutions may not always be found directly using the formulae ∫ π y 2 dx
or ∫ π x 2 dx . You need to draw a sketch and look at the solid formed after rotation.

(a) If the solid consists of just discs in the cross-section, resulting in a bowl, the formula
∫ π y dx or ∫ π x dx is applied directly to find the volume.
2 2

(b) If the solid is hollow in the centre, we need to use the volume of a bigger solid to
minus away the volume of the smaller solid.
(c) If the solid consists of two different bowls resulting from two different curves, we
need to add the volumes of the two bowls together.

3. Common misconception
y Region R is rotated 360° about the x-axis.
y = f(x)
R b
Volume = π ∫ ( f ( x)) 2 − ( g ( x)) 2 dx (correct)
y = g(x) b

It is not π ∫ ( f ( x) − g ( x)) 2 dx .
a b

… Miscellaneous
1. Evaluate integral using GC. For example, ∫0
x sin x dx . We use 9: fnInt under m

Note: If the question does not specify exact values, we can always write down the required
integral for the area and volume and evaluate the integral using GC.

2. The region may be rotated 180 degrees (Fig. 1) or 360 degrees (Fig. 2) to produce one
full revolution. The formulae ∫ π y 2 dx or ∫ π x 2 dy is for one full revolution.

Although both regions are different

and are rotated about the y-axis
through different degrees to
produce one revolution, their
volume generated is the same
= ∫ π x 2 dy .