Previously in this series, I showed that

My wife had asked me to compute this integral by hand because Mathematica 4 and Mathematica 8 gave different answers. At the time, I eventually obtained the solution by multiplying the top and bottom of the integrand by

and then employing the substitution

(after using trig identities to adjust the limits of integration).

But this wasn’t the only method I tried. Indeed, I tried two or three different methods before deciding they were too messy and trying something different. So, for the rest of this series, I’d like to explore different ways that the above integral can be computed.

So far, I have shown that

where and (and is a certain angle that is now irrelevant at this point in the calculation).

As discussed in yesterday’s post, I now employ the “magic substitution” , so that

and

.

Employing this substitution, the range of integration changes from to , so that

Using the magic substitution, the integral has been converted to a standard rational function. I’ll continue with this different method of evaluating this integral in tomorrow’s post.

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