Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 30


Definition of the Laplace Transform

The Laplace transform provides a useful method of solving certain types of differential equations when certain initial conditions are given, especially when the initial values are zero. The Laplace transform is also very useful in the area of circuit analysis (which we see later in the Applications section) . It is often easier to analyse the circuit in its Laplace form, than to form differential equations. The techniques of Laplace transform are not only used in circuit analysis, but also in

Proportional-Integral-Derivative (PID) controllers DC motor speed control systems DC motor position control systems Second order systems of differential equations (underdamped, overdamped and critically damped)

Definition of Laplace Transform of f(t)

The Laplace transform of a function f(t) for t > 0 is defined by the following integral defined over 0 to :

{ f(t)} = The resulting expression is a function of s, which we write as F(s). In words we say "The Laplace Transform of f(t) equals function F of s" and write: {f(t)} = F(s) Similarly, the Laplace transform of a function g(t) would be written: {g(t)} = G(s)

The Good News

In practice, we do not need to actually find this infinite integral for each function f(t) that we have to find the Laplace Transform for. There is a table of Laplace Transforms which we can use. Go to the Table of Laplace Transformations.

Table of Laplace Transformations

The following Table of Laplace Transforms is very useful when solving problems in science and engineering that require Laplace transform. Each expression in the right hand column (the Laplace Transforms) comes from finding the infinite integral that we saw in the Definition of a Laplace Transform section. Time Function f(t) f(t) = 1 t (unit-ramp function) tn (n, a positive integer) s>0 eat sin t cos t tng(t), for n = 1, 2, ... s>a s>0 s>0

Laplace Transform of f(t) F(s) = s>0 { f(t)}



t sin t

s > ||

t cos t s > ||

g(at) eatg(t) eattn, for n = 1, 2, ...

Scale property G(s a) Shift property

s>a te-t s > -1 1 e-t/T eatsin t eatcos t u(t) u(t a) u(t a)g(t a) g'(t) g''(t) g(n)(t)

s > -1/T


s>a s>0

s>0 e-asG(s) Time-displacement theorem sG(s) g(0) s2 G(s) s g(0) g'(0) sn G(s) sn-1 g(0) sn-2 g'(0) ... g(n-1)(0)

In the following sections we see how to use the Table of Laplace Transformations to solve problems.

6. Laplace Transforms of Integrals

We first saw the following properties in the Table of Laplace Transforms.

1. If G(s) =

{g(t)}, then

2. For the general integral, if

is the value of the integral when t = 0, then:

Use the above information and the Table of Laplace Transforms to find the Laplace transforms of the following integrals:

(a) Answer In this example, g(t) = cos at and from the Table of Laplace Transforms, we have: G(s) = cos at = s / (s2 + a2)

Now, applying the first rule above, we have:



This is similar to example (b). We find the transform of the function g(t) = eatcos bt, then divide by s, since we are finding the Laplace transform of the integral of g(t) evaluated from 0 to t.


Answer This follows the same process as examples (a) and (b). Find the Laplace transform of the function g(t) = te-3t then divide by s.


Answer Recall from the Double Agle Formula that sin 2 = 2 sin cos We can use this to re-express our integrand (the part we are integrating):

So the Laplace Transform of the integral becomes:

3. Some Properties of Laplace Transforms

We saw some of the following properties in the Table of Laplace Transforms.

Property 1. Constant Multiple

If a is a constant and f(t) is a function of t, then {a f(t)} = a {f(t)}

{7 sin t} = 7 {sin t}

[This is not surprising, since the Laplace Transform is an integral and the same property applies for integrals.]

Property 2. Linearity Property

If a and b are constants while f(t) and g(t) are functions of t, then {a f(t) + b g(t)} = a {f(t)} + b {g(t)}

{3t + 6t2 } = 3 {t } + 6 {t2}

Property 3. Change of Scale Property

If {f(t)} = F(s) then


Property 4. Shifting Property (Shift Theorem)

{eatf(t)} = F(s a)

{e3tf(t)} = F(s 3)

Property 5.

Property 6.
The Laplace transforms of the real (or imaginary) part of a complex function is equal to the real (or imaginary) part of the transform of the complex function. Let Re denote the real part of a complex function C(t) and Im denote the imaginary part of C(t), then {Re[C(t)]} = Re and {Im[C(t)]} = Im {C(t)} {C(t)}

If you need some background, go to Complex Numbers.

Obtain the Laplace transforms of the following functions, using the Table of Laplace Transforms and the properties given above. (We can, of course, use Scientific Notebook to find each of these. Sometimes it needs some more steps to get it in the same form as the Table). (a) f(t) = 4t2 Answer We use:

and the Constant Multiple property from above, to obtain:

(b) v(t) = 5 sin 4t Answer

We use: Clearly, = 4.

(c) g(t) = t cos 7t Answer

We use

It is simple to obtain

DEMONSTRATION of PROPERTY 5: {t f(t)} For example (c), we could have also used Property 5:

with f(t) = cos 7t.

Now So


This is the same result that we obtained using the formula. For a reminder on derivatives of a fraction, see Derivatives of Products and Quotients.

(d) f(t) = e2t sin 3t Answer We use

and simple substitution yields:

DEMONSTRATION OF No 4: SHIFTING PROPERTY For example (d) we could have used: {eatg(t)} = G(s a) Let g(t) = sin 3t


This is the same result we obtained before for example (d).

(e) f(t) = t4e-jt


From the Laplace table, we have:


(f) f(t) = te-t cos 4t


We will use: Let




(g) f(t) = t2 sin 5t Answer

We will use

, with


Now for the second derivative:

For the formula, we need:


(h) f(t) = t3 cos t = t2(t cos t)

Answer So we are letting .

This time we need the 2nd derivative of

(From the Table of Laplace Transforms.) First derivative:

Second derivative:



(i) f(t) = cos23t, given that

Answer For this one, we need to apply the Scale Property:

Here, a = 3 so

10. Applications of Laplace Transforms

Circuit Equations
There are two (related) approaches: 1. Derive the circuit (differential) equations in the time domain, then transform these ODEs to the s-domain; 2. Transform the circuit to the s-domain, then derive the circuit equations in the s-domain (using the concept of "impedance").

We will use the first approach. We will derive the system equations(s) in the t-plane, then transform the equations to the s-plane. We will usually then transform back to the t-plane.

Consider the circuit when the switch is closed at t = 0 with VC(0) = 1.0 V. Solve for the current i(t) in the circuit.


Multiplying throughout by

Taking Laplace transform:

Now in this example, we are told


That is:



Collecting I terms and subtracting

from both sides:

Finding the inverse Laplace transform gives us

Note: Throughout this page these problems are also solved using Scientific Notebook. They are TEX files and you need Scientific Notebook or similar, to view them. Alternative answer using Scientific Notebook. (.tex file)

Solve for i(t) for the circuit, given that V(t) = 10 sin5t V, R = 4 W and L = 2 H.



Equating coefficients of

gives Equating coefficients of :

gives So

So we have

Alternative answer using Scientific Notebook. (.tex file)

In the circuit shown below, the capacitor is uncharged at time t = 0. If the switch is then closed, find the currents i1 and i2, and the charge on C at time t greater than zero.

Answer NOTE: We could either:

Set up the equations, take Laplace of each, then solve simultaneously Set up the equations, solve simultaneously, then take Laplace.

It is easier in this example to do the second method. In many examples, it is easier to do the first method. For the first loop, we have:

For the second loop, we have:

Substituting (2) into (1) gives:

Next we take the Laplace Transform of both sides. Note:

In this example,

. So

Now taking Inverse Laplace:

And using result (2) from above, we have:

For charge on the capacitor, we first need voltage across the capacitor:

So, since

, we have:

Graph of q(t):

Alternative answer using Scientific Notebook. (.tex file)

In the circuit shown, the capacitor has an initial charge of 1 mC and the switch is in position 1 long enough to establish the steady state. The switch is moved from position 1 to 2 at t = 0. Obtain the transient current i(t) for t > 0.


Position 1, after a `long time': Position 2: ( We apply )

emf, and consider the sum of the potential difference across elements.

In position 2, there is no emf.

Finding Laplace Transform:

Multiplying by

Solving for I and completing the square on the denominator gives us:

So the transient current is:

We could transform the trigonometric part of this to a single expression: 2 cos 222.2t 0.45 sin 222.2t = R cos(222.2t + )


Alternative answer using Scientific Notebook. (.tex file)

The system is quiescent. Find the loop current i2(t).

Answer Quiescent implies i1, i2 and their derivatives are zero for t = 0, ie i1(0) = i2(0) = i1'(0) = i2'(0) = 0. For loop 1:

For loop 2:

Substituting our result from (1) gives:

Taking Laplace transform:

Let So

So Taking Inverse Laplace:


Alternative answer using Scientific Notebook. (.tex file)

Consider a series RLC circuit where R = 20 W, L = 0.05 H and C = 10-4 F and is driven by an alternating emf given by E = 100 cos 200t. Given that both the circuit current i and the capacitor charge q are zero at time t = 0, find an expression for i(t) in the region t > 0. Answer We use the following:

and obtain:

After multiplying throughout by 20, we have:

Taking Laplace transform and using the fact that i(0) = 0:

Using Scientific Notebook to find the partial fractions:



+ cos200t 2 sin 200t

NOTE: Scientific Notebook can do all this for us very easily. In one step, we have:

+ cos200t 2 sin 200t

Transient part:

Steady state part:

Alternative answer using Scientific Notebook. (.tex file)

A rectangular pulse vR(t) is applied to the RC circuit shown. Find the response, v(t). Graph of vR(t):

Note: v(t) = 0 V for all t < 0 s implies v(0-) = 0 V. Answer Now To solve this, we need to work in voltages, not current.

We start with

The voltage across a capacitor is given by

It follows that So for this example we have:

Substituting known values:


Taking Laplace: Since , we have:

So, taking inverse Laplace

NOTE: For the part:

, we use:

So we have:

Solution Using Scientific Notebook 1. To find the Inverse Laplace:

2. To solve the original DE:

Exact solution for v(t):

To see what this means, we could write it as follows:

To see what our expression for v(t) means, we graph it as follows: