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MathGroup Archive 2004

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Principal Value integral

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg52361] Principal Value integral
  • From: Carlo Teubner <AskMeAndIllTellYou. at>
  • Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 02:32:35 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: Oxford University, England
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

The following Principal Value integral does not appear to give the 
correct result.

Integrate[1/(x^3-1), {x, -Infinity, Infinity}, PrincipalValue->True]

This gives I Pi / 3, which surely can't be right since the answer should 
be real.

When doing it numerically, it gives the right answer:

CauchyPrincipalValue[1/(x^3-1), {z, -Infinity, {1}, Infinity}]

This gives -1.8138 which is the correct answer (it's -Pi/Sqrt[3]).

Any explanations? Is this a bug or am I missing something?


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