     # LAPLACE TRANSFORMS - LAPLACE TRANSFORMS . INTRODUCTION Laplace transform is an integral transform employed

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LAPLACE TRANSFORMS

INTRODUCTION

 Laplace transform is an integral transform employed in solving physical problems.  Many physical problems when analysed assumes the form of a differential equation

subjected to a set of initial conditions or boundary conditions.

 By initial conditions we mean that the conditions on the dependent variable are specified at a single value of the independent variable.

 If the conditions of the dependent variable are specified at two different values of the independent variable, the conditions are called boundary conditions.

 The problem with initial conditions is referred to as the Initial value problem.  The problem with boundary conditions is referred to as the Boundary value problem.

Example 1 : The problem of solving the equation xy dx dy

dx yd

=++2 2

with conditions y(0) =

y′ (0) = 1 is an initial value problem

Example 2 : The problem of solving the equation xy dx dy

dx yd cos23 2

2

=++ with y(1)=1,

y(2)=3 is called Boundary value problem.

Laplace transform is essentially employed to solve initial value problems. This technique is of great utility in applications dealing with mechanical systems and electric circuits. Besides the technique may also be employed to find certain integral values also. The transform is named after the French Mathematician P.S. de’ Laplace (1749 – 1827).

The subject is divided into the following sub topics.

LAPLACE TRANSFORMS

Definition and Properties

Transforms of some functions

Convolution theorem

Inverse transforms

Solution of differential equations

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Definition :

Let f(t) be a real-valued function defined for all t ≥ 0 and s be a parameter, real or complex.

Suppose the integral ∫ ∞

0

)( dttfe st exists (converges). Then this integral is called the Laplace

transform of f(t) and is denoted by Lf(t).

Thus,

Lf(t) = ∫ ∞

0

)( dttfe st (1)

We note that the value of the integral on the right hand side of (1) depends on s. Hence Lf(t) is a function of s denoted by F(s) or )(sf .

Thus,

Lf(t) = F(s) (2)

Consider relation (2). Here f(t) is called the Inverse Laplace transform of F(s) and is denoted by L-1 [F(s)].

Thus,

L-1 [F(s)] = f(t) (3)

Suppose f(t) is defined as follows :

f1(t), 0 < t < a

f(t) = f2(t), a < t < b

f3(t), t > b

Note that f(t) is piecewise continuous. The Laplace transform of f(t) is defined as

Lf(t) = ∫ ∞

0

)(tfe st

= ∫ ∫ ∫ ∞

−−− ++ a b

a b

ststst dttfedttfedttfe 0

321 )()()(

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NOTE : In a practical situation, the variable t represents the time and s represents frequency. Hence the Laplace transform converts the time domain into the frequency domain.

Basic properties

The following are some basic properties of Laplace transforms :

1. Linearity property : For any two functions f(t) and φ(t) (whose Laplace transforms exist) and any two constants a and b, we have

L [a f(t) + b φ(t)] = a L f(t) + b Lφ(t)

Proof :- By definition, we have

L[af(t)+bφ(t)] = [ ]dttbtafe st∫ ∞

− + 0

)()( φ = ∫ ∫ ∞ ∞

−− + 0 0

)()( dttebdttfea stst φ

= a L f(t) + b Lφ(t)

This is the desired property.

In particular, for a=b=1, we have

L [ f(t) + φ(t)] = L f(t) + Lφ(t)

and for a = -b = 1, we have

L [ f(t) - φ(t)] = L f(t) - Lφ(t)

2. Change of scale property : If L f(t) = F(s), then L[f(at)] =   

  

a sF

a 1 , where a is a positive

constant.

Proof :- By definition, we have

Lf(at) = ∫ ∞

0

)( dtatfe st (1)

Let us set at = x. Then expression (1) becomes,

L f(at) = ∫ ∞ 

 

  −

0

)(1 dxxfe a

x a s

  

  =

a sF

a 1

This is the desired property.

3. Shifting property :- Let a be any real constant. Then L [eatf(t)] = F(s-a)

Proof :- By definition, we have

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L [eatf(t)] = [ ]∫ ∞

0

)( dttfee atst = ∫ ∞

−−

0

)( )( dttfe as

= F(s-a)

This is the desired property. Here we note that the Laplace transform of eat f(t) can be

written down directly by changing s to s-a in the Laplace transform of f(t).

TRANSFORMS OF SOME FUNCTIONS 1. Let a be a constant. Then

L(eat) = ∫ ∫ ∞ ∞

−−− = 0 0

)( dtedtee tasatst

= asas

e tas

− =

−−

∞−− 1 )( 0

)(

, s > a

Thus,

L(eat) = as −

1

In particular, when a=0, we get

L(1) = s 1 , s > 0

By inversion formula, we have

atat e s

Le as

L == −

−− 11 11

2. L(cosh at) =  

  

 + −

2

atat eeL = [ ]∫ ∞

−− + 02

1 dteee atatst

= [ ]∫ ∞

+−−− + 0

)()(

2 1 dtee tastas

Let s > |a| . Then,

∞+−−−

 

  

 +−

+ −−

= 0

)()(

)()(2 1)(cosh

as e

as eatL

tastas

= 22 as s −

Thus,

L (cosh at) = 22 as s −

, s > |a|

and so

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at as

sL cosh22 1 =

 

  

− −

3. L (sinh at) = 222 as aeeL

atat

− =

  

 − − , s > |a|

Thus,

L (sinh at) = 22 as a −

, s > |a|

and so,

a

at as

L sinh1 22 1 =

 

  

− −

4. L (sin at) = ∫ ∞

0

sin ate st dt

Here we suppose that s > 0 and then integrate by using the formula

[ ]∫ −+= bxbbxaba ebxdxe

ax ax cossinsin 22

Thus,

L (sinh at) = 22 as a +

, s > 0

and so

a

at as

L sinh1 22 1 =

 

  

+ −

5. L (cos at) = atdte st cos 0 ∫ ∞

Here we suppose that s>0 and integrate by using the formula

[ ]∫ ++= bxbbxaba ebxdxe

ax ax sincoscos 22

Thus,

L (cos at) = 22 as s +

, s > 0

and so

at as

sL cos22 1 =

+ −

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6. Let n be a constant, which is a non-negative real number or a negative non-integer. Then

L(tn) = ∫ ∞

0

dtte nst

Let s > 0 and set st = x, then

∫ ∫ ∞ ∞

− +

− =  

  =

0 0 1

1)( dxxe ss

dx s xetL nxn

n xn

The integral dxxe nx∫ ∞

0

is called gamma function of (n+1) denoted by )1( +Γ n . Thus

1 )1()( +

+Γ = n

n

s ntL

In particular, if n is a non-negative integer then )1( +Γ n =n!. Hence

1 !)( += n

n

s ntL

and so

)1(

1 1

1

+Γ =+

n t

s L

n

n or !n t n as the case may be

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TABLE OF LAPLACE TRANSFORMS

f(t) F(s)

1 s 1 , s > 0

eat as −

1 , s > a

coshat 22 as s −

, s > |a|

sinhat 22 as a −

, s > |a|

sinat 22 as a +

, s > 0

cosat 22 as s +

, s > 0

tn, n=0,1,2,….. 1 ! +ns

n , s > 0

tn, n > -1 1 )1(

+

+Γ ns

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