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Ch6.

5:ImpulseFunctions
In some applications, it is necessary to deal with phenomena
of an impulsive nature.
For example, an electrical circuit or mechanical system subject
to a sudden voltage or force g(t) of large magnitude that acts
over a short time interval about t0. The differential equation
will then have the form
ay by cy g (t ),
where
big, t0 t t0
g (t )
otherwise
0,
and 0 is small.

Measuring Impulse
In a mechanical system, where g(t) is a force, the total impulse
of this force is measured by the integral

t 0

t 0

I ( ) g (t )dt

g (t )dt

Note that if g(t) has the form


c, t 0 t t 0
g (t )
0, otherwise

then

t 0
I ( ) g (t )dt g (t )dt 2 c, 0

t 0

In particular, if c = 1/(2), then I() = 1 (independent of ).

Unit Impulse Function


Suppose the forcing function d(t) has the form
1 2 , t
d (t )
otherwise
0,

Then as we have seen, I() = 1.


We are interested d(t) acting over
shorter and shorter time intervals
(i.e., 0). See graph on right.
Note that d(t) gets taller and narrower
0, and
) have
1
as lim
d0.(t )Thus
for tlim
0,I (we
0

Dirac Delta Function


Thus for t 0, we have lim d (t ) 0, and lim I ( ) 1
0

The unit impulse function is defined to have the properties


(t ) 0 for t 0, and (t )dt 1

The unit impulse function is an example of a generalized


function and is usually called the Dirac delta function.

In general,
unitt impulse
t 0,
(t t0 )for
0a for
t0 , and at
t t0 )dt point
1
an (arbitrary

Laplace Transform of

(1 of 2)

The Laplace Transform of is defined by


L (t t0 ) lim L d (t t0 ) , t0 0
0
and thus

1
L (t t0 ) lim e st d (t t0 )dt lim
0 0
0 2
st t 0

e
0 2 s

lim

t 0

t 0

t 0

e st dt

1
e s t0 e s t0
0 2 s

lim

e st0 e s e s
sinh( s )
st 0
lim

e lim

0 s
0
2
s

s cosh( s )
st 0
st 0
e lim

s
0

Laplace Transform of

(2 of 2)

Thus the Laplace Transform of is


L (t t0 ) e st0 , t0 0

For Laplace Transform of at t0= 0, take limit as follows:


L (t ) lim L d (t t0 ) lim e st0 1
t 0 0

0 0

For example, when t0= 10, we have L{(t -10)} = e-10s.

Product of Continuous Functions and


The product of the delta function and a continuous function f
can be integrated, using the mean value theorem for integrals:

(t t0 ) f (t )dt lim d (t t0 ) f (t )dt


0

1 t0
lim f (t )dt
0 2 t 0
1
lim 2 f (t*) ( where t0 t* t0 )
0 2
lim f (t*)
0

f (t0 )

Thus

(t t0 ) f (t )dt f (t0 )

Example 1: Initial Value Problem

(1 of 3)

Consider the solution to the initial value problem


2 y y 2 y (t 7), y (0) 0, y(0) 0
Then
2 L{ y} L{ y} 2 L{ y} L{ (t 7)}
Letting Y(s) = L{y},

2s Y (s) 2sy(0) 2 y(0) sY (s) y(0) 2Y (s) e


2

Substituting in the initial conditions, we obtain

2s

or

s 2 Y ( s ) e 7 s

e 7 s
Y ( s) 2
2s s 2

7 s

Example 1: Solution

(2 of 3)

We have
e 7 s
Y ( s) 2
2s s 2

The partial fraction expansion of Y(s) yields

e 7 s
15 / 4
Y (s)

2
2 15 s 1 / 4 15 / 16

and hence
y (t )

1
15
t 7
u7 (t )e t 7 / 4 sin
4
2 15

Example 1: Solution Behavior

(3 of 3)

With homogeneous initial conditions at t = 0 and no external


excitation until t = 7, there is no response on (0, 7).
The impulse at t = 7 produces a decaying oscillation that
persists indefinitely.
Response is continuous at t = 7 despite singularity in forcing
function. Since y' has a jump discontinuity at t = 7, y'' has an
infinite discontinuity there. Thus singularity in forcing
function is balanced by a corresponding singularity in y''.