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Calculus Book

  1. Nov 21, 2004 #1
    Can anyone recommend an introductory Calculus book for a Grade 11 student? I know this may sound dumb, but could anyone also fill me in on how much Calculus is acutaly used in subjects like Physics? I get the impression it's used a ton...
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  3. Nov 21, 2004 #2
    Calculus and physics are inseparable. You can't understand physics truly without calculus, in my opinion. I've only used two different books but I liked Leithold's The Calculus. I picked up the 2nd edition a few years ago when I was a freshmeat in HS for 5 bucks and found it easy to self-study out of. I think it's up to the 7th or 8th edition now though. I'd recommend the book though over the garbage one the University I go to now has.
  4. Nov 21, 2004 #3


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    See https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=28094

    It will help to consider whether you want to focus on concepts or practice, as most books focus on one or the other, i.e. they are aimed primarily at either mathematicians or physicists/engineers.

    Good luck,
  5. Nov 23, 2004 #4
    Thanks for the link and advice.
  6. Nov 23, 2004 #5


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    cheap, basic and fun: Calculus made easy, by silvanus p. thompson.

    Motivated and well written: Lectures on freshman calculus, by cruse and granville.

    expert, concise, excellent on ideas: A first course in calculus, by Serge Lang.

    classic, traditional and competent engineering text: Calculus and Analytic geometry, by George B. Thomas.

    a classic of rigor and applications, thorough - going for serious students of science: Differential and Integral Calculus, by Richard Courant.

    books for future mathematicians: Calculus, by Michael Spivak, or the book by Tom Apostol.

    Suggestion: Go to a library that has several of the recommended books and look them over to see which ones you like. And look at some we have not mentioned, i.e. find your own way.

    try to find one that has some proofs in it so you begin to learn to reason. My recent honors calculus classes in college are totally bereft of any experience of theory in calculus. High school courses in calculus are notoruious for omitting all the ideas and focusing only on computation. The AP tests are pretty sorry in this respect as well.
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