Complex Integration


Chapter 13 laid the groundwork for the study of complex analysis, covered complex numbers in the complex plane, limits, and differentiation, and introduced the most important concept of analyticity. A complex function is analytic in some domain if it is differentiable in that domain. Complex analysis deals with such functions and their applications. The Cauchy–Riemann equations, in Sec. 13.4, were the heart of Chapter 13 and allowed a means of checking whether a function is indeed analytic. In that section, we also saw that analytic functions satisfy Laplace's equation, the most important PDE in physics.

We now consider the next part of complex calculus, that is, we shall discuss the first approach to complex integration. It centers around the very important Cauchy integral theorem (also called the Cauchy–Goursat theorem) in Sec. 14.2. This theorem is important because it allows, through its implied Cauchy integral formula of Sec. 14.3, the evaluation of integrals having an analytic integrand. Furthermore, the Cauchy integral formula shows the surprising result that analytic functions have derivatives of all orders. Hence, in this respect, complex analytic functions behave much more simply than real-valued functions of real variables, which may have derivatives only up to a certain order.

Complex integration is attractive for several reasons. Some basic properties ...

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