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Chapter 2 : Applications of Integrals

In this section we’re going to take a look at some of the Applications of Integrals. It should be noted as well that these applications are presented here, as opposed to Calculus I, simply because many of the integrals that arise from these applications tend to require techniques that we discussed in the previous chapter.

Here is a list of applications that we’ll be taking a look at in this chapter.

Arc Length – In this section we’ll determine the length of a curve over a given interval.

Surface Area – In this section we’ll determine the surface area of a solid of revolution, i.e. a solid obtained by rotating a region bounded by two curves about a vertical or horizontal axis.

Center of Mass – In this section we will determine the center of mass or centroid of a thin plate where the plate can be described as a region bounded by two curves (one of which may the \(x\) or \(y\)-axis).

Hydrostatic Pressure and Force – In this section we’ll determine the hydrostatic pressure and force on a vertical plate submerged in water. The plates used in the examples can all be described as regions bounded by one or more curves/lines.

Probability – Many quantities can be described with probability density functions. For example, the length of time a person waits in line at a checkout counter or the life span of a light bulb. None of these quantities are fixed values and will depend on a variety of factors. In this section we will look at probability density functions and computing the mean (think average wait in line or average life span of a light blub) of a probability density function.