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Topic: Integrating exp(-x^2)
Replies: 7   Last Post: Dec 24, 2010 8:46 AM

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Paul Sperry

Posts: 1,392
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Integrating exp(-x^2)
Posted: Dec 24, 2010 2:13 AM
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In article <MPG.277e0c0ad87b8ddc98c961@news.individual.net>, Stan Brown
<the_stan_brown@fastmail.fm> wrote:

> This came up at work yesterday, and neither of us could remember how
> to do it. I pulled out my copy of Thomas and couldn't find it,
> though I did find a statement at the beginning of the "Methods of
> Integration" chapter that it would be dealt with later and would
> involve infinite series.
> Can someone remind me, or point me toward an online reference?
> Thanks!
> P.S. We actually want the definite integral from x=0 to infinity.
> And again, it's not the answer but the method that we're looking for.

<http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=integrate+e^-x^2> gives an answer
but not much of a method.

<http://mathforum.org/library/drmath/view/69832.html> gives a
derivation (which I have not read) and an answer.

The two answers do not agree - I think (but am not sure) that Wolfram
is correct.

Paul Sperry
Columbia, SC (USA)

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