Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Difference between Calc & Analysis?

  1. Jan 24, 2005 #1
    Could someone explain to me the difference between Calculus courses and analysis courses?

    Also, Im looking to get a book on the subject. I've heard Rudin's name tossed around quite a bit. Is this the best path to go? My main concern is properly learning the theory behind the material, as well as gain experience in applications. I especially love it when the author adds their personal interpretations and comments.

    Thanks in Adavance! :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 25, 2005 #2

    matt grime

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Approximately, and remember unlike the objects involved in a subject what constitutes a subject is subjective, calculus could be thought of as applied analysis. In analysis you would prove that the derivative of x^n is nx^{n-1}, in calculus you'd care about finding the local minumum of a function using analytically defined rules such as the derivative of x^n is nx^{n-1}
  4. Jan 25, 2005 #3
    I see... so analysis is typically a more in-depth theoretical approach to calculus. Thanks!
  5. Jan 26, 2005 #4
    I think a good adjective to use for analysis is "rigorous".
  6. Jan 26, 2005 #5
    how much of the material is brand new (ie: never seen in a calc class) and how much is just reworking some of the older proofs ( like mean value theorem )?
  7. Jan 26, 2005 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    My understanding is that in Europe they tend to use "analysis" to mean what we (Americans or can I include the English) mean by "calculus". In the United States, at any rate, "Mathematical Analysis" is the theory behind calculus.

    The basic theorems of analysis are often familiar from caculus but more general (abstract) and proved with more rigor.

    For example, the intermediate value theorem, "If f is continuous on [a,b], f(a)< 0 and f(b)> 0, then f(c)= 0 for some value of c between a and b" becomes "A continuous image of a connected set is connected".
    The theorem that "If f is continuous, then f takes on both maximum and minimum values on a closed and bounded interval" becomes "A continuous image of a compact set is compact."
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2005
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook