Inspired by Mr. Olivier Oloa in this question. Does the following integral admit a closed form?

\begin{align} \mathscr{R}=\int_0^{\Large\frac{\pi}{2}}\sin^2x\,\ln\big(\sin^2(\tan x)\big)\,\,dx \end{align}

It will be my last question before I take a long break from my activity on Mathematics StackExchange. So, please be nice. No more downvotes for no reason because this is a challenge problem.

Edit :

I am also interested in knowing the numerical value of $\mathscr{R}$ to the precision of at least $50$ digits. If you use Mathematica to find its numerical value, please share your method & the code.

  • $\begingroup$ Using Matlab, the result seems to be $\mathscr{R}\approx -0.825490903211824$ at least that was the result of my computation (just as a first check, since this was already different from @Omran Kouba's result). $\endgroup$
    – Thomas
    Nov 7, 2014 at 18:31
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    $\begingroup$ Guys, what are the downvotes for? $\endgroup$ Nov 9, 2014 at 12:42
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    $\begingroup$ Please don't create a meta tag "challenge problem". Meta tags are very strongly discouraged in general - see math.stackexchange.com/help/tagging . There is a thread on meta about this one at meta.math.stackexchange.com/a/17275/630 $\endgroup$ Nov 9, 2014 at 17:29
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    $\begingroup$ Prof. @CarlMummert But WHY??? I have a privilege for doing so. Lots of questions on Math SE can be covered by using this tag. I think it is about time we have this tag on Math SE. Why don't you guys just leave me alone? Please don't bother my posts again. They're all legit. I didn't do something wrong here $\endgroup$ Nov 9, 2014 at 17:46
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    $\begingroup$ @Anastasiya-Romanova Please try to keep a professional tone on this site. People on this site aren't out to get you. $\endgroup$
    – MT_
    Nov 12, 2014 at 18:00

3 Answers 3


Here's a slightly different approach. Using the power reduction formula and getting rid of the second exponent of the sine using the properties of the logarithm the integral becomes:

$$I=\int_0^{\frac{\pi}{2}} (1-\cos 2x) \log (\sin (\tan x))dx$$

Using the substitution $2x=u$ we have:

$$I = \frac{1}{2}\int_0^\pi (1-\cos u) \log\bigg(\sin \bigg(\tan \bigg(\frac{u}{2}\bigg)\bigg)\bigg)du$$

We have the integral ready for a Weierstrass substitution, after which it becomes:

$$I = \int_0^\infty\bigg(1-\frac{1-t^2}{1+t^2}\bigg) \log(\sin (t)) \frac{1}{1+t^2}dt$$


$$I = \int_0^\infty \frac{2t^2}{(1+t^2)^2} \log(\sin (t))dt$$

From now on I'll use $x$ again. The Fourier series of $\log (\sin x)$ is well known and it is:

$$\log(\sin x)= -\log 2 -\sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{\cos(2nx)}{n}$$

So the integral, exchanging integration and summation, becomes:

$$I=-2\log 2 \int_0^\infty \frac{x^2}{(1+x^2)^2}dx-2\sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n} \int_0^\infty \frac{x^2\cos(2nx)}{(1+x^2)^2}$$

These are both easy integrals from the point of view of residue calculus. The final result is:

$$I=-\frac{\pi \log 2}{2} -\frac{\pi}{2}\sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{e^{-2n}}{n}+\pi \sum_{n=1}^\infty e^{-2n}$$

These sums can be evaluated using the geometric series and its integral. So we have:

$$I=-\frac{\pi \log 2}{2}+\frac{\pi}{e^2-1}-\frac{\pi}{2}(2-\log(e^2-1))$$


$$I=\frac{\pi}{2}\log \bigg( \frac{e^2-1}{2} \bigg) +\pi\bigg(\frac{2-e^2}{e^2-1}\bigg)$$

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    $\begingroup$ Hey!? Finally, you made it Marco, +1! But this is not Quora, you must use dollar sign $ here :P $\endgroup$ Nov 8, 2014 at 17:30
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    $\begingroup$ Finally had time to update my answer :P Anyway, where's the [math] tag I left? I don't see it. EDIT: Oh, ok. $\endgroup$ Nov 8, 2014 at 17:31
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    $\begingroup$ No need residue method for this part though $$\int_0^\infty\frac{\cos ax}{b^2+x^2}\,dx=\frac{\pi e^{-ab}}{2b}$$ and you can use its derivative w.r.t. $b$ to evaluate the latter integral. Nice answer anyway :) $\endgroup$ Nov 8, 2014 at 17:42
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    $\begingroup$ +1 Actually, one may apply the residue theorem directly to $\displaystyle \int^\infty_{-\infty}\frac{x^2\ln(1-e^{i2x})}{(1+x^2)^2}dx$ without the need to expand the integrand as a fourier series. $\endgroup$
    – M.N.C.E.
    Nov 9, 2014 at 6:54
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    $\begingroup$ You only need to define $\log(\sin t)$ when $\sin t$ is negative, this happens often for $0<t$, and to justify the interchange of the integral sign and the series summation sign, especially when the series is not absolutely convergent. $\endgroup$ Nov 9, 2014 at 17:47

The answer is $$ \mathscr{R}=\frac{\pi }{2} \left(\log \left(\frac{e^2-1}{2} \right)-\frac{2 \left(e^2-2\right)}{e^2-1}\right) $$ As Kirill proved we have $$\eqalign{ \mathscr{R}&=\frac{1}{2}\int_{-\infty}^\infty\frac{u^2}{(1+u^2)^2}\log(\sin^2u)du\cr &=\frac{1}{2}\int_{0}^\pi\left(\sum_{k\in\mathbb{Z}}\frac{(u+k\pi)^2}{(1+(u+k\pi)^2)^2}\right)\log(\sin^2u)du } $$ Now, the function $$ F(u)=\sum_{k\in\mathbb{Z}}\frac{(u+k\pi)^2}{(1+(u+k\pi)^2)^2} $$ is $\pi$-periodic and even function. It is not difficult to calculate its Fourier cosine coefficients $a_n$ such that $$ F(u)=\frac{a_0}{2}+\sum_{n=1}a_n\cos(2n u) $$ with, $$a_n=\frac{2}{\pi}\int_0^\pi F(u)\cos(2n u)du =\frac{2}{\pi}\int_{-\infty}^\infty \frac{u^2}{(1+u^2)^2}\cos(2n u)du= e^{-2 n} (1-2 n)$$ The last equality is obtained by a simple residue calculus.

On the other hand it is easy and well-known that $$ \log(\sin^2u)=-2\log 2-\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac{2}{n}\cos(2nu) $$ So using Parseval's formula we get $$ \mathscr{R}=\frac{\pi}{2}\left(- \log 2-\frac{1}{2}\sum_{n=1}^\infty\frac{2}{n}e^{-2 n} (1-2 n)\right) $$ and this simplifies easily to the announced closed form.$\qquad\square$


Write $\tan x = u$ to get the integral $$ \int_0^\infty \frac{u^2\,du}{ (1+u^2)^2} \log(\sin^2 u) $$ and split over periods of length $\pi$ by writing $u=\pi k+s$, $0<s<\pi$ so that the integral is $$ 2\int_0^\pi \sum_{k\geq0} \frac{u^2}{(1+u^2)^2}\log\sin s\,ds, \qquad u = \pi k+s. $$ The sum can be done explicitly in terms of polygamma functions: $$ \frac{1}{2\pi}\Im\psi\left(\frac{i+s}{\pi}\right) + \frac{1}{2\pi^2}\Re\psi_1\left(\frac{i+s}{\pi}\right), $$ so the integral is equal to $$ \frac1\pi \int_0^\pi \log(\sin s)\left(\Im\psi\left(\frac{i+s}{\pi}\right) + \frac{1}{\pi}\Re\psi_1\left(\frac{i+s}{\pi}\right) \right)\,ds$$ which is numerically $$ \begin{array}{rl} -0.8254932940&1920795045&3494583393&8145490721&3051472153&0015143141\\ 0263463153&8662518683&0960012709&2734877933&9171668805&2198716476\\ 0581876961&2557665495&3473838059&8389072188&9187974995&4963384740\\ 9429563810&6463831818&4148444098&6729534027&3239373746&3514130065&\ldots \end{array} $$


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