# Evaluate the indefinite integral $\int \frac{1}{x^2} \sin\left(\frac{6}{x}\right) \cos\left(\frac{6}{x}\right) \, dx$

Evaluate the indefinite integral:

$$\int \frac{1}{x^2} \sin\left(\frac{6}{x}\right) \cos\left(\frac{6}{x}\right) \, dx$$

(using substitution)

The answer is: $$\frac {1}{24} \cos\left(\frac{12}{x}\right) + C$$

Whereas I get a slightly different one.

Here's my solution:

$$u = \frac{6}{x}$$

$$du = - \frac{6}{x^2} \cdot dx$$

$$-\frac {1}{6} du = \frac {1}{x^2} \cdot dx$$

Making substitution:

$$\int -\frac{1}{6} du \sin (u) \cos (u)$$

adding a new variable for substitution:

$$s = \cos (u)$$

$$ds = -sin(u) du$$

Making substitution:

$$\frac {1}{6} \int ds \cdot s$$

Evaluating:

$$\frac{1}{6} \cdot \frac{s^2}{2} = \frac{s^2}{12} = \frac{\cos^2(u)}{12} = \frac{\cos^2(\frac{6}{x})}{12}$$

Then using a half angle formula for $$\cos^2$$:

$$\frac {\frac{1}{2} \cdot (1 + \cos(\frac{12}{x}))}{12} = \frac{1}{24} + \frac{1}{24} \cdot \cos\left(\frac{12}{x}\right) + C$$

As you can see I have an additional $$\frac{1}{24}$$ in my answer... so what did I do wrong?

• Did you notice the +C in the original answer there? The constant absorbs that $+1/24$! Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 4:18
• @Jesse P Francis So are you saying there's never a constant in the answers for integrals that were evaluated? I wonder why is that? I already integrated the function... why does my constant need to disappear... because of C... Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 4:20
• @dramadeur It doesn't disappear per se; in this case Jesse is defining a new constant $C' := C + \frac{1}{24}$ and then renaming $C'$ as $C$. Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 4:23
• @Travis, he edited the question and added constant, anyway, dramadeur, I think what Travis said is what you are confused with!:) Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 4:25

You missed the constant of integration all the way! It "absorbs" the $\frac{1}{24}$!

Spot the difference:

Evaluating:

$\displaystyle \frac{1}{6} \cdot \frac{s^2}{2} +c= \frac{s^2}{12} +c= \frac{\cos^2(u)}{12} +c= \frac{\cos^2(\frac{6}{x})}{12}+c$, where c is the constant of integration.

Then using a half angle formula for $\cos^2$:

$\displaystyle \frac {\frac{1}{2} \cdot (1 + \cos(\frac{12}{x}))}{12} +c$ = $\frac{1}{24} \cdot \cos(\frac{12}{x}) + C$, where $C=c+\frac{1}{24}$

You did everything right, but you're constant of integration "absorbs" the $\frac{1}{24}$

$$\frac{1}{24}+C=C$$

The $C$ is an arbitrary constant meaning that it could be anything (depending on our initial conditions). So, what's a constant plus an arbitrary constant? It's just another arbitrary constant!

If it helps, you could do something like:

$$\frac{1}{24}+C=D$$