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Can I learn calculus?

  1. May 9, 2010 #1
    I want to start learning calculus based physics on my own this summer, but I don't know any calculus and I was just wondering how much math do I need to know so that I could be able to learn calculus on my own? And what textbooks would you recommend for me to learn calculus or precalculus, and Newtonian Calculus Based physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2010 #2


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  4. May 10, 2010 #3
    the dude was just trying to help
  5. May 10, 2010 #4
    you mostly only need to be comfortable with properly manipulating math equations to learn calculus.

    So you don't really need to know the specifics taught in algebra II or precalculus (like how to solve for imaginary roots, how to solve polynomials of x degree, etc.) you just need to have the foundation taught in those classes for manipulating math equations.
  6. May 10, 2010 #5
    ok thanks for the help
  7. May 10, 2010 #6
    Frankly, all I knew about mathematics when I first learned Calculus was solving equations (of the quadratic type) and a bit about trigonometry and geometry.
    It's possible to begin learning Calculus with a modest background in Math. However, during the process, I needed to learn a lot more than Calculus. I wouldn't refrain from studying Calculus due to modest knowledge: learn all you need during your path.

    I did it, and it was successful.
    Good luck!
  8. May 10, 2010 #7
    Anyone can learn calculus, however, it requires will-power and determination. You need a solid background in precalculus. That is all.
    To learn calculus you should take a look at these lecture videos: http://press.princeton.edu/video/banner/ They helped me get an A in calculus. As for a textbook, you should look into college-level books.
    Here are some free online texts you could take a look at:

    As for physics, I am using this book: https://www.amazon.com/University-Physics-Modern-MasteringPhysics-12th/dp/080532187X
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