Register to reply

Calculus symbols

by The riddler
Tags: calculus, symbols
Share this thread:
The riddler
#1
Jul1-09, 03:14 PM
P: 94
1. Hi, im learning calculus off the interenet so that i may learn more advanced physics equations, but sadly im being held back because i cannot find the meaning of the symbols without the explaination being based around some seemingly random equation like
∫ab x2 dx = b3/3 − a3/3 + blah blah Blah. So below im gonna post a few symbols that i want to learn and i don't understand, also can someone to explain to me on this youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX_is9LzFSY what this guy is talking about in from 1:42 too 4:40. Please post the meaning of whichever one you can and thank you in advance .




2. ∫


Phys.Org News Partner Science news on Phys.org
Bees able to spot which flowers offer best rewards before landing
Classic Lewis Carroll character inspires new ecological model
When cooperation counts: Researchers find sperm benefit from grouping together in mice
jgens
#2
Jul1-09, 04:37 PM
P: 1,622
Well, we can certainly explain what each of these symbols mean but unless you have the requisite mathematical knowledge, it won't help you very much. I would recommend getting a good calculus book to learn these things - if you want to do advanced physics, you need to know calculus very well.

∫ is called the integral sign and there are a lot of ways to define it. Perhaps the most common way is by Riemann or Darboux sums (the latter are easier to understand). You can find a fairly superficial treatment of the concept here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integral

∇ is called the del operator (it's a differential opperator). However, I you haven't encountered integrals before, you probably shouldn't be working with the del operator. If you're really inclined a definition is given here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Del

From the video, it sounds like you're having difficulty with the limit concept. Intuitively, the limit of a function as x -> a is the value that the function approaches for x arbitrarily near a. For example, if f(x) = x/x, f(0) is undefined while lim (x -> 0) f(x) = 1.

It sounds like you really do need to get a good calculus book and learn these things. It won't do you much good to only get a superficial understanding of the concepts, especially if you want to pursue upper level physics.
The riddler
#3
Jul1-09, 05:02 PM
P: 94
Yeah your probably right, when i first saw calculus i tried to relate it to the algebra i've learned but Calculus seems to have something to it that seems quite alien to me that i have not come across it before. Thanks jgens.

queenofbabes
#4
Jul1-09, 09:42 PM
P: 211
Calculus symbols

Yes, I think you need a good calculus book for beginners, starting with differentiation and integration. If you're seeing del operators in the same place it's probably too difficult for you....for now.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Help about the symbols Quantum Physics 6
Symbols, such as alpha etc. into your posts Forum Feedback & Announcements 8
Tex symbols Computing & Technology 1
Functions using mathematical jargon? Calculus 3
More symbols? Forum Feedback & Announcements 3