# Thread: integration with boundary conditions

1. ## integration with boundary conditions

Suppose we have a function $f(x)$ defined on the interval $[x_1,x_2]$ whose antiderivative is $F(x) + C$.

If $F(x_1) = K_1$ and $F(x_2) = K_2$ then how does one determine the value of $C$?

Thanks!

2. ## Re: integration with boundary conditions

The way you have given it here, you can't determine C. But I suspect that is not what you mean to say. If the anti-derivative of f(x) is F(x)+ C, then you already know F(x) so already know both $F(x_1)$ and $F(x_2)$ and that tells you nothing about C. For example, I know that the anti-derivative of $f(x)= 2x$ is $\int f(x) dx= F(x)+ C= x^2+ C$ so I know that $F(x_1)= x_1^2$ and $F(x_2)= x_2^2$. That tells me nothing about C.

I think what you mean to say is that you know that $\int f(x)dx$, evaluated at $x_1$, is $K_1$ (and you only need one value, not two). In that case, you have that $F(x_1)+ C= K$ so that $C= K- F(x_1)$. Using the example above, if you know that $\int x^2 dx$, evaluated at $x_1$ is K then $x_1^2+ C= K_1$ so $C= K_1- x_1^2$. More specifically, if you know that the anti-derivative of $f(x)= 2x$, evaluated at x= 2 is 12, then you know that $(2)^2+ C= 4+ C= 12$ so that $C= 8$.