We study integrals over basic regions.

As we journey through calculus again, we are now ready for integrals. Instead of integrating over an interval like we now integrate over regions like this in particular, in this section we will only consider rectangles and boxes, and this is what we mean by “trivial” regions. Here a rectangle is defined as: A box is defined as: Let’s get to work!

Double integrals

Suppose you have a function . A graph of this function is a surface in . For example:

We are interested in the “signed volume” or “net volume” between this surface and the -plane. This means that the space above the plane under will have a positive volume. Space above and under the -plane will have a “negative” volume. This is similar to the notion of “signed area” used before. If we want to compute the signed volume of a surface defined by over a rectangular region, say the rectangle defined by we break into slices parallel to the -axis, and slices parallel to the -axis. This allows us to consider boxes of dimension where is a point in -rectangle:

Computing the volume of each of these boxes approximates and summing them together approximates the signed volume enclosed by the surface:

Letting the number of rectangles in the -direction and -direction go to infinity, we will have that goes to zero, and we will find the exact volume enclosed by our surface when bounded by the region . This leads to our definition of a double integral:

Let the value of a function be given below: Let Now, simply add up the -values found in the rectangles that are within our region and multiply by . Compute .

How do we compute a double integral with calculus? We use an iterated integral. At this point we will introduce something called Fubini’s Theorem.

Fubini’s Theorem

Fubini’s Theorem gives us a recipe for computing double integrals. In this class, we are going to have many different versions of Fubini’s Theorem. The common factor between all of these theorems is that with each, the “punch-line” will be: where an iterated integral is nothing more than two applications of our familiar friend/foe: the single integral.

Now let’s work some examples:

In our next example, we will see that it is sometimes easier to apply Fubini’s Theorem and integrate with respect to one variable instead of the other.

Triple integrals

Using a similar technique to how we made boxes to define double integrals, we can make four-dimensional boxes to define a triple integral that computes the signed hypervolume bounded by a hypersurface and a three-dimensional region. How do we compute a triple integral with calculus? We use our second version of Fubini’s Theorem. This time, it will say something like:

Let be a continuous function on the region .

Let’s do an example.

We’ve just begun our journey with multiple integrals. Next, we’ll think about more complex regions! For some interesting extra reading check out: