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Special function defined by an integral
In integral calculus, an elliptic integral is one of a number of related functions defined as the value of certain integrals. Originally, they arose in connection with the problem of finding the arc length of an ellipse and were first studied by Giulio Fagnano and Leonhard Euler (c. 1750). Modern mathematics defines an "elliptic integral" as any functionf which can be expressed in the form
In general, integrals in this form cannot be expressed in terms of elementary functions. Exceptions to this general rule are when P has repeated roots, or when R(x,y) contains no odd powers of y. However, with the appropriate reduction formula, every elliptic integral can be brought into a form that involves integrals over rational functions and the three Legendre canonical forms (i.e. the elliptic integrals of the first, second and third kind).
Incomplete elliptic integrals are functions of two arguments; complete elliptic integrals are functions of a single argument. These arguments are expressed in a variety of different but equivalent ways (they give the same elliptic integral). Most texts adhere to a canonical naming scheme, using the following naming conventions.
Each of the above three quantities is completely determined by any of the others (given that they are non-negative). Thus, they can be used interchangeably.
The other argument can likewise be expressed as ?, the amplitude, or as x or u, where x = sin ? = sn u and sn is one of the Jacobian elliptic functions.
Specifying the value of any one of these quantities determines the others. Note that u also depends on m. Some additional relationships involving u include
The latter is sometimes called the delta amplitude and written as ?(?) = dn u. Sometimes the literature also refers to the complementary parameter, the complementary modulus, or the complementary modular angle. These are further defined in the article on quarter periods.
Incomplete elliptic integral of the first kind
The incomplete elliptic integral of the first kindF is defined as
This is the trigonometric form of the integral; substituting t = sin ? and x = sin ?, one obtains the Legendre normal form:
Equivalently, in terms of the amplitude and modular angle one has:
In this notation, the use of a vertical bar as delimiter indicates that the argument following it is the "parameter" (as defined above), while the backslash indicates that it is the modular angle. The use of a semicolon implies that the argument preceding it is the sine of the amplitude:
This potentially confusing use of different argument delimiters is traditional in elliptic integrals and much of the notation is compatible with that used in the reference book by Abramowitz and Stegun and that used in the integral tables by Gradshteyn and Ryzhik.
There are still other conventions for the notation of elliptic integrals employed in the literature. The notation with interchanged arguments, F(k,?), is often encountered; and similarly E(k,?) for the integral of the second kind. Abramowitz and Stegun substitute the integral of the first kind, F(?,k), for the argument ? in their definition of the integrals of the second and third kinds, unless this argument is followed by a vertical bar: i.e. E(F(?,k) | k2) for E(? | k2). Moreover, their complete integrals employ the parameterk2 as argument in place of the modulus k, i.e. K(k2) rather than K(k). And the integral of the third kind defined by Gradshteyn and Ryzhik, ?(?,n,k), puts the amplitude ? first and not the "characteristic" n.
Thus one must be careful with the notation when using these functions, because various reputable references and software packages use different conventions in the definitions of the elliptic functions. For example, some references, and Wolfram's Mathematica software and Wolfram Alpha, define the complete elliptic integral of the first kind in terms of the parameter m, instead of the elliptic modulus k.
Incomplete elliptic integral of the second kind
The incomplete elliptic integral of the second kindE in trigonometric form is
Substituting t = sin ? and x = sin ?, one obtains the Legendre normal form:
Equivalently, in terms of the amplitude and modular angle:
This approximation has a relative precision better than for k < . Keeping only the first two terms is correct to 0.01 precision for k < .
The differential equation for the elliptic integral of the first kind is
A second solution to this equation is . This solution satisfies the relation
Complete elliptic integral of the second kind
Plot of the complete elliptic integral of the second kind
The complete elliptic integral of the second kindE is defined as
or more compactly in terms of the incomplete integral of the second kind E(?,k) as
For an ellipse with semi-major axis a and semi-minor axis b and eccentricity e = , the complete elliptic integral of the second kind E(e) is equal to one quarter of the circumferencec of the ellipse measured in units of the semi-major axis a. In other words:
The complete elliptic integral of the second kind can be expressed as a power series
Like the integral of the first kind, the complete elliptic integral of the second kind can be computed very efficiently using the arithmetic-geometric mean (Carlson 2010, 19.8).
Define sequences and , where , and the recurrence relations , hold. Furthermore, define . By definition,
Also, . Then
In practice, the arithmetic-geometric mean would simply be computed up to some limit. This formula converges quadratically for all . To speed up computation further, the relation can be used.
Derivative and differential equation
A second solution to this equation is E - K.
Complete elliptic integral of the third kind
Plot of the complete elliptic integral of the third kind with several fixed values of
The complete elliptic integral of the third kind? can be defined as
Note that sometimes the elliptic integral of the third kind is defined with an inverse sign for the characteristicn,
Just like the complete elliptic integrals of the first and second kind, the complete elliptic integral of the third kind can be computed very efficiently using the arithmetic-geometric mean (Carlson 2010, 19.8).