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MathGroup Archive 2002

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Odd results in integration

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg32871] Odd results in integration
  • From: Tomas Garza <tgarza01 at>
  • Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2002 04:35:31 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

This problem has been brought to my attention, and I am puzzled as to 
what's going on. The following indefinite integral is readily evaluated 
by Mathematica:

Integrate[(a - y)^(2*n - 1)/(b - y)^n, y]
((a - y)^(2*n)*(-b + y)*Hypergeometric2F1[1 - n, 1 - 2*n,
    2 - n, -((b - y)/(a - b))])/(((-a + b)*(-1 + n))*
   ((1 + (b - y)/(a - b))^(2*n)*(b - y)^n))

where a, b and n are constants. However, if in the above input cell one 
uses the greek letters "alfa" and "beta" (through Esc a Esc and Esc b 
Esc) instead of a and b, respectively, the result turns out to be 

Tomas Garza
Mexico City

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