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Differential Equations (Notes) / Laplace Transforms / Laplace Transforms   [Notes]
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 Laplace Transforms

As we saw in the last section computing Laplace transforms directly can be fairly complicated.  Usually we just use a table of transforms when actually computing Laplace transforms.  The table that is provided here is not an inclusive table, but does include most of the commonly used Laplace transforms and most of the commonly needed formulas pertaining to Laplace transforms.

 

Before doing a couple of examples to illustrate the use of the table let’s get a quick fact out of the way.

 

Fact

Given f(t) and g(t) then,

                                                   

for any constants a and b.

 

In other words, we don’t worry about constants and we don’t worry about sums or differences of functions in taking Laplace transforms.  All that we need to do is take the transform of the individual functions, then put any constants back in and add or subtract the results back up.

 

So, let’s do a couple of quick examples.

 

Example 1  Find the Laplace transforms of the given functions.

(a)    [Solution]

(b)    [Solution]

(c)    [Solution]

(d)    [Solution]

 

Solution

Okay, there’s not really a whole lot to do here other than go to the table, transform the individual functions up, put any constants back in and then add or subtract the results.

 

We’ll do these examples in a little more detail than is typically used since this is the first time we’re using the tables.

 

(a)  

 

[Return to Problems]

 

 

 

 

 

(b)  

 

[Return to Problems]

 

(c)  

 

[Return to Problems]

 

(d)  

 

[Return to Problems]

 

Make sure that you pay attention to the difference between a “normal” trig function and hyperbolic functions.  The only difference between them is the “+ a2” for the “normal” trig functions becomes a “- a2” in the hyperbolic function!  It’s very easy to get in a hurry and not pay attention and grab the wrong formula.  If you don’t recall the definition of the hyperbolic functions see the notes for the table.

 

Let’s do one final set of examples.

 

Example 2  Find the transform of each of the following functions.

(a)    [Solution]

(b)    [Solution]

(c)    [Solution]

(d)    [Solution]

(e)    [Solution]

Solution

(a)   

 

This function is not in the table of Laplace transforms.  However we can use #30 in the table to compute its transform.  This will correspond to #30 if we take n=1.

 

 

So, we then have,

                                        

Using #30 we then have,

                                                                  

[Return to Problems]

(b)  

 

This part will also use #30 in the table.  In fact we could use #30 in one of two ways.  We could use it with .

                               

 

Or we could use it with .

                                

 

Since it’s less work to do one derivative, let’s do it the first way.  So using #9 we have,

                                        

The transform is then,

                                                                 

[Return to Problems]

(c)  

 

This part can be done using either #6 (with  ) or #32 (along with #5).  We will use #32 so we can see an example of this.  In order to use #32 we’ll need to notice that

                                     

Now, using #5,

                                                    

we get the following.

                                                         

 

This is what we would have gotten had we used #6.

[Return to Problems]

 

(d)  

 

For this part we will use #24 along with the answer from the previous part.  To see this note that if

                                                                        

then

                                                                    

 

Therefore, the transform is.

                                                              

[Return to Problems]

 

(e)   

 

This final part will again use #30 from the table as well as #35.

                                                    

 

Remember that g(0) is just a constant so when we differentiate it we will get zero!

[Return to Problems]

 

As this set of examples has shown us we can’t forget to use some of the general formulas in the table to derive new Laplace transforms for functions that aren’t explicitly listed in the table!

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