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Calculus Calculus Made Easy by Silvanus P. Thompson

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  1. Jan 20, 2013 #1


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    Table of Contents:
    Code (Text):

    [*] Prologue
    [*] To deliver you from the Preliminary Terrors
    [*] On Different Degrees of Smallness
    [*] On Relative Growings
    [*] Simplest Cases
    [*] Next Stage. What to do with Constants
    [*] Sums, Differences, Products and Quotients
    [*] Successive Differentiation
    [*] When Time Varies
    [*] Introducing a Useful Dodge
    [*] Geometrical Meaning of Differentiation
    [*] Maxima and Minima
    [*] Curvature of Curves
    [*] Other Useful Dodges
    [*] On true Compound Interest and the Law of Organic Growth
    [*] How to deal with Sines and Cosines
    [*] Partial Differentiation
    [*] Integration
    [*] Integrating as the Reverse of Differentiating
    [*] On Finding Areas by Integrating
    [*] Dodges, Pitfalls, and Triumphs
    [*] Finding some Solutions
    [*]Table of Standard Forms
    [*] Answers to Exercises
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
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  3. Jan 20, 2013 #2


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    This is a wonderful, friendly, brief introduction to calculus, from 1910. Many 20th-century scientists and mathematicians learned calculus from it. The Project Gutenberg version has been converted into LaTeX. The version currently in print has been revised by Martin Gardner.
  4. Jan 21, 2013 #3


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    I enjoyed reading this book back in high school. Although, if I do recall it's a bit dated in termology, but it's a short read, and by the end of the book you come out with a fairly good grasp on basic calculus. Enough to give you the courage to learn more.
  5. Jan 21, 2013 #4


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    I read the original version. It's very short and accessible.
  6. Jan 23, 2013 #5


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    i never learned anything from this book but i loved its tone and humor. I have looked again more closely at it recently and still love the style of it but have noticed serious shortcomings related to actually learning calculus from it. Namely he does not explain why the rules he gives should be believed, and many statements are technically false. Thus one who seeks to understand what he reads will be left wanting here.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
  7. Mar 12, 2013 #6
    I'm reading this right now along side Quick Calculus, Stewart's, and MIT OCW and I am finding it pretty helpful and gives a different perspective than the other book. Great book
  8. Oct 18, 2015 #7
    First calculus book I ever read (back in the 1970s), and the best introduction I have ever seen.
  9. Oct 19, 2015 #8
    In fact I would expand on my previous post. When I started this book, aged 14 in 1977, I knew no calculus. I read it non stop for about a week, and completed all the exercises, by which time I was very comfortable with single variable calculus. What I particularly remember is how the book opened my eyes to great new things, without seeming to involve much effort. Very natural. My 1977 copy is on the top shelf of my bookcase, waiting for my kids to be old enough to read it...
  10. Oct 22, 2015 #9
    It's what I read when I couldn't understand much from the advanced books. It's really helpful and encouraging.. this book. A must read if you are just starting Calculus.
  11. Nov 14, 2015 #10


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    For me calculus was 30 years ago, this sounds like a good refresher.

    I order using the link provided, so hopefully Physics Forums get a credit from Amazon!
  12. Nov 15, 2015 #11
    Very nice book but it assumes you know the binomial expansion for positive and negative exponents. Make sure you review those first.
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