I have the following spherical density distribution:

$\rho(x, z) = \frac{1}{\sqrt{x^2 + z^2}\left(1+\sqrt{x^2+z^2}\right)^2}$

which I have broken into a "line of sight" dimension $z$ and a "transverse" dimension $x$. Integrating this profile along the line of sight gives the projected 2d density $\Sigma$:

$\Sigma(x) = 2\int_0^\infty\rho(x,z)dz$

I wish to compute this for any generic upper bound $\zeta$, i.e.

$\Sigma(x; \zeta) = 2\int_0^\zeta\rho(x,z)dz$

(that is, $\zeta=\infty$ corresponds to the case of projecting the entire distribution to the transverse plane, while $\zeta<\infty$ corresponds to a projection which is truncated in the $z$-dimension).

It turns out this has to be solved piecewise; the solution for $x>1$, via Mathematica 11.3, is

$$ \left.\int_0^\zeta\rho(x, z)dz\right\rvert_{x>1} = \frac{\zeta \left(\sqrt{x^2+\zeta^2}-1\right)}{\left(x^2-1\right) \left(x^2+\zeta^2-1\right)}+\frac{\tan ^{-1}\left(\frac{\zeta}{\sqrt{\left(x^2-1\right) \left(x^2+\zeta^2\right)}}\right)-\tan ^{-1}\left(\frac{\zeta}{\sqrt{x^2-1}}\right)}{\left(x^2-1\right)^{3/2}}$$

However, I am unable to obtain the solution for the case $x<1$. I currently only have access to Mathematica 12.0, rather than 11.3 which reproduces the form above, and it is failing on this integral. Performing

Assuming[{x < 1, ζ \[Element] Reals, ζ > 0}, 
         FullSimplify[Integrate[1/(Sqrt[x^2 + z^2] (1 + Sqrt[x^2 + z^2])^2), {z, 0, ζ}]]]

returns a HyperGeometric function, though I suspect that the $x<1$ case should not be much more complicated than $x>1$. Can anyone confirm? Or see any issue?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Please make titles informative as to the content of the post, not as to the mental state of the person posting them at the time they are posting them. $\endgroup$ Sep 16, 2020 at 1:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A question about Mathematica may better be suited for mathematica.stackexchange.com $\endgroup$ Sep 16, 2020 at 1:48
  • $\begingroup$ @ArturoMagidin apologies; fixed $\endgroup$ Sep 16, 2020 at 5:02

1 Answer 1


WolframAlpha is giving me, on the substitution $z = x\tan\theta$ - $$\int\rho(x, z)dz = \frac{x\sin\theta}{\left(x^2-1\right) \left(\cos\theta+x\right)} - \frac{2\tanh^{-1}\left(\frac{x-1}{\sqrt{1-x^2}}\tan\frac{\theta}{2}\right)}{(1- x^2)^{3/2}} + C$$

  • $\begingroup$ why did you make this substitution? Im. not sure what to do with this form $\endgroup$ Sep 16, 2020 at 4:48

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