Cauchy principal value

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In mathematics, the Cauchy principal value of certain improper integrals is defined as either

  • the finite number
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \lim_{\varepsilon\rightarrow 0+} \left[\int_a^{b-\varepsilon} f(x)\,dx+\int_{b+\varepsilon}^c f(x)\,dx\right]}
where b is a point at which the behavior of the function f is such that
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \int_a^b f(x)\,dx=\pm\infty}
for any a < b and
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \int_b^c f(x)\,dx=\mp\infty}
for any c > b (one sign is "+" and the other is "−").

or

  • the finite number
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \lim_{a\rightarrow\infty}\int_{-a}^a f(x)\,dx}
where
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \int_{-\infty}^0 f(x)\,dx=\pm\infty}
and
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \int_0^\infty f(x)\,dx=\mp\infty}
(again, one sign is "+" and the other is "−").

In some cases it is necessary to deal simultaneously with singularities both at a finite number b and at infinity. This is usually done by a limit of the form

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \lim_{\varepsilon \rightarrow 0+}\int_{b-\frac{1}{\varepsilon}}^{b-\varepsilon} f(x)\,dx+\int_{b+\varepsilon}^{b+\frac{1}{\varepsilon}}f(x)\,dx.}

Nomenclature

The Cauchy principal value of a function Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle f} can take on several nomenclatures, varying for different authors. These include (but are not limited to): Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle PV \int f(x)\,dx} , Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle P} , P.V., Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \mathcal{P}} , Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle P_v} , Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle (CPV)} and V.P..

Examples

Consider the difference in values of two limits:

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \lim_{a\rightarrow 0+}\left(\int_{-1}^{-a}\frac{dx}{x}+\int_a^1\frac{dx}{x}\right)=0,}
Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \lim_{a\rightarrow 0+}\left(\int_{-1}^{-a}\frac{dx}{x}+\int_{2a}^1\frac{dx}{x}\right)=-\log_e 2.}

The former is the Cauchy principal value of the otherwise ill-defined expression

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \int_{-1}^1\frac{dx}{x}{\ } \left(\mbox{which}\ \mbox{gives}\ -\infty+\infty\right).}

Similarly, we have

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \lim_{a\rightarrow\infty}\int_{-a}^a\frac{2x\,dx}{x^2+1}=0,}

but

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \lim_{a\rightarrow\infty}\int_{-2a}^a\frac{2x\,dx}{x^2+1}=-\log_e 4.}

The former is the principal value of the otherwise ill-defined expression

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \int_{-\infty}^\infty\frac{2x\,dx}{x^2+1}{\ } \left(\mbox{which}\ \mbox{gives}\ -\infty+\infty\right).}

These pathologies do not afflict Lebesgue-integrable functions, that is, functions the integrals of whose absolute values are finite.

Distribution theory

Let Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle C_0^\infty(\mathbb{R})} be the set of smooth functions with compact support on the real line Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \mathbb{R}.} Then, the map

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \operatorname{p.\!v.}\left(\frac{1}{x}\right)\,: C_0^\infty(\mathbb{R}) \to \mathbb{C}}

defined via the Cauchy principal value as

Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle \operatorname{p.\!v.}\left(\frac{1}{x}\right)(u)=\lim_{\varepsilon\to 0+} \int_{| x|>\varepsilon} \frac{u(x)}{x} \, dx} for Failed to parse (MathML with SVG or PNG fallback (recommended for modern browsers and accessibility tools): Invalid response ("Math extension cannot connect to Restbase.") from server "https://wikimedia.org/api/rest_v1/":): {\displaystyle u\in C_0^\infty(\mathbb{R})}

is a distribution.