Do you know if you have the right answer?

  • Thread starter Helical
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In summary, the conversation discusses the use of calculus in checking answers and how it can be similar to the process in algebraic equations. It also mentions the use of differential equations and integrals in verifying answers, as well as the availability of programs like Mathematica and Maple for this purpose. The individual is curious about this aspect of calculus due to their lack of confidence and appreciates the ability to check answers in a similar way to algebra.
  • #1
Helical
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Hello, I'm going to begin undergraduate study next year (majoring in physics) and I have not taken any calculus yet. What I'm wondering is, with calculus can you check that your answer is right? Like with algebraic problems you can plug a variable back into your original equation and see if it comes out equivialent. This is just something I'm curious about and probably is a stupid question which stems from my ignorance of calculus. Anyways, thanks for any responses.
 
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  • #2
in fact, with calculus many questions can be checked. such as differential equation,you can check it like the way in algebraic equation.
but sometime, it's really hard to ensure ourself.
 
  • #3
I see thanks for the response. The reason I'm curious is that I'm often not very confident so will recheck myself and like that ability with algebra. Good to know you can do it at least with some calculus.
 
  • #4
In elementary calculus, if you are trying to evaluate the derivative of a function f(x) at a point x0, you can generally check your answer (with your calculator) against (f(x + epsilon) - f(x)) / (x + epsilon), for some small epsilon, like 0.0001.

When taking an integral you can simply check your answer by differentiating the anti-derivative you got.

And as already mentioned you can check your answers for differential equations by plugging in the answer you get and seeing if it indeed solves the equation.
 
  • #5
There are also programs like Mathematica/Maple (and others) that'll let you verify most of your elementary calc answers.
 

Related to Do you know if you have the right answer?

1. What is the importance of knowing if you have the right answer?

Knowing if you have the right answer is crucial in the field of science as it ensures the accuracy and validity of your research and findings. Without knowing if you have the right answer, your conclusions may be flawed and lead to incorrect assumptions.

2. How do you determine if you have the right answer?

In science, there are various methods for determining if you have the right answer. This includes conducting experiments, gathering and analyzing data, peer review, and replication of results. It is important to follow a rigorous and systematic approach in order to confidently determine if you have the right answer.

3. What should you do if you are unsure if you have the right answer?

If you are unsure if you have the right answer, it is important to seek feedback and advice from other scientists in your field. This can be done through peer review, conferences, or consulting with experts. It is also important to continue conducting research and gathering evidence to support your findings.

4. What are some common mistakes that may lead to incorrect answers?

Some common mistakes that may lead to incorrect answers in science include biased or incomplete data, flawed experimental design, and human error in data analysis. It is important to be aware of these potential pitfalls and take necessary precautions to avoid them.

5. Is it always possible to have the right answer in science?

In science, it is often difficult to determine if you have the absolute right answer, as new evidence and research may challenge previous theories and conclusions. However, through rigorous research and peer review, scientists strive to have the most accurate and reliable answers possible. It is important to always be open to new information and to continue questioning and refining our understanding of the world.

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