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What is calculus?

  1. Nov 28, 2004 #1
    What is calculus? :confused:
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 28, 2004 #2
    limits, derivatives and integrals...all mathematical phenomena that are continuous in nature. The opposite branch is discrete mathematics...

  4. Nov 28, 2004 #3
    Chound, I think you should consult a textbook or search the internet, as calculus is an extremely large field of study.
  5. Nov 29, 2004 #4


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    what is the meaning of life?

    seriously, calculus is the science of reasoning backwards from a knowledge of the forces that cause things to change, to an explicit understanding of how those things evolve.

    for instance, from a knowledge of how the pull of the earth causes falling objects to speed up as they fall, one obtains an explicit formula for how far an object falls in a given amount of time.

    from a knowledge of what forces govern population growth, one obtains a formula for the number of members of that population 20 years in the future.

    the fundamental theorem of calculus says that the rate of change of area under a curve, as we move to the right along the curve, is measured by the height of the curve. hence froma formula for the height of acurve we obtain a formula for the area under the curve.

    there are many more applications.
  6. Nov 29, 2004 #5


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    What's the difference between calculus and analysis? If you just go to mathworld or wikipedia to find the answer, I've already read those, so that won't help (and upon reading them, it still wasn't all that clear). Does anyone know, in concrete terms, what the two are and how they relate?
  7. Nov 29, 2004 #6


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    The best way to learn the difference between Analysis and Calculus is to actually read both different style of texts. You clearly see the difference after 1 or 2 chapters.
  8. Nov 29, 2004 #7


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    calculus is what i said it was above. it is a practical subject. analysis is the theoretical study of why the principles of calculus are true.

    it is sort of like the difference between the forest and the trees.
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