The Mathematica Journal
Volume 9, Issue 3


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Edited by Paul Abbott

Closed Form Integral

Q: How can I compute a closed expression for

where is a Legendre polynomial?

A: Orthogonality of the Legendre polynomials requires that

One can write as a Gaussian hypergeometric function (,

Specializing equation (2.5) of Fields and Wimp [1], to the case where and , one has

Put , , , , , into this formula.

The term causes the summand to vanish if , making the sum finite. We simplify the summand as follows.

It is a good idea to verify that this expression is correct, at least for small .

Finally, using the parity property, , we obtain the expansion coefficients .

We check this result for .

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