This is the study of limits, derivatives, integrals and infinite series
This is an area of mathematics that focuses on limits, functions, derivatives, integrals and infinite series
A lot of calculus is just advanced algebra, geometry and trigonometry
There are four important ideas:
Differentiation - finding the derivative
Integration - finding the integral
Infinite Series - divergent or convergent
The study of functions and limits is often referred to as Mathematical Analysis
The two most significant components are differentiation and integration.
Calculus has widespread uses and can be used to solve problems which algebra cannot solve.
When is Calculus Used
Calculus can be used in conjunction with other mathematic disciplines
1) Linear Algebra to find the best fit linear approximation
2) Probability Theory to determine the probability of a continuous random variable from an assumed density function.
3) Analytic Geometry (study of graphs) to find maxima and minima, slope, concavity and inflexion points.
4) Economics for determining maximum profits by calculating marginal cost and marginal revenue.
Given a function and a specific point, the derivative at that point is a way of encoding the small-scale behavior of the function near that point.
By finding the derivative of a function at every point, it is possible to produce a new function, called the derivative function or just the derivative of the original function.
In mathematical jargon, the derivative is a linear operator which inputs a function and outputs a second function.
This is more abstract than many of the processes studied in elementary algebra, where functions usually input a number and output another number.
For example, if the doubling function is given the input three, then it outputs six, and if the squaring function is given the input three, then it outputs nine. The derivative, however, can take the squaring function as an input.
This means that the derivative takes all the information of the squaring functionósuch as that two is sent to four, three is sent to nine, four is sent to sixteen, and so onóand uses this information to produce another function.
(The function it produces turns out to be the doubling function.)
The most common symbol for a derivative is an apostrophe-like mark called prime. Thus, the derivative of the function of f is f', pronounced "f prime."
For instance, if f(x) = x2 is the squaring function, then f'(x) = 2x is its derivative, the doubling function.
If the input of the function represents time, then the derivative represents change with respect to time. For example, if f is a function that takes a time as input and gives the position of a ball at that time as output, then the derivative of f is how the position is changing in time, that is, it is the velocity of the ball.
If a function is linear (that is, if the graph of the function is a straight line), then the function can be written as y = mx + b, where x is the independent variable, y is the dependent variable, b is the y-intercept, and:
This gives an exact value for the slope of a straight line. If the graph of the function is not a straight line, however, then the change in y divided by the change in x varies. Derivatives give an exact meaning to the notion of change in output with respect to change in input. To be concrete, let f be a function, and fix a point a in the domain of f. (a, f(a)) is a point on the graph of the function. If h is a number close to zero, then a + h is a number close to a. Therefore (a + h, f(a + h)) is close to (a, f(a)). The slope between these two points is
This expression is called a difference quotient. A line through two points on a curve is called a secant line, so m is the slope of the secant line between (a, f(a)) and (a + h, f(a + h)). The secant line is only an approximation to the behavior of the function at the point a because it does not account for what happens between a and a + h. It is not possible to discover the behavior at a by setting h to zero because this would require dividing by zero, which is impossible. The derivative is defined by taking the limit as h tends to zero, meaning that it considers the behavior of f for all small values of h and extracts a consistent value for the case when h equals zero:
Geometrically, the derivative is the slope of the tangent line to the graph of f at a. The tangent line is a limit of secant lines just as the derivative is a limit of difference quotients. For this reason, the derivative is sometimes called the slope of the function f.
Here is a particular example, the derivative of the squaring function at the input 3. Let f(x) = x2 be the squaring function.
The derivative f'(x) of a curve at a point is the slope of the line tangent to that curve at that point. This slope is determined by considering the limiting value of the slopes of secant lines. Here the function involved (drawn in red) is f(x) = x3 - x. The tangent line (in green) which passes through the point (-3/2, -15/8) has a slope of 23/4. Note that the vertical and horizontal scales in this image are different.
The slope of tangent line to the squaring function at the point (3,9) is 6, that is to say, it is going up six times as fast as it is going to the right. The limit process just described can be performed for any point in the domain of the squaring function. This defines the derivative function of the squaring function, or just the derivative of the squaring function for short. A similar computation to the one above shows that the derivative of the squaring function is the doubling function.
Leibniz notationMain article: Leibniz's notation
A common notation, introduced by Leibniz, for the derivative in the example above is
In an approach based on limits, the symbol dy/dx is to be interpreted not as the quotient of two numbers but as a shorthand for the limit computed above. Leibniz, however, did intend it to represent the quotient of two infinitesimally small numbers, dy being the infinitesimally small change in y caused by an infinitesimally small change dx applied to x. We can also think of d/dx as a differentiation operator, which takes a function as an input and gives another function, the derivative, as the output. For example:
In this usage, the dx in the denominator is read as "with respect to x". Even when calculus is developed using limits rather than infinitesimals, it is common to manipulate symbols like dx and dy as if they were real numbers; although it is possible to avoid such manipulations, they are sometimes notationally convenient in expressing operations such as the total derivative.
Integral calculusMain article: Integral
Integral calculus is the study of the definitions, properties, and applications of two related concepts, the indefinite integral and the definite integral. The process of finding the value of an integral is called integration. In technical language, integral calculus studies two related linear operators.
The indefinite integral is the antiderivative, the inverse operation to the derivative. F is an indefinite integral of f when f is a derivative of F. (This use of upper- and lower-case letters for a function and its indefinite integral is common in calculus.)
The definite integral inputs a function and outputs a number, which gives the area between the graph of the input and the x-axis. The technical definition of the definite integral is the limit of a sum of areas of rectangles, called a Riemann sum.
A motivating example is the distances traveled in a given time.
If the speed is constant, only multiplication is needed, but if the speed changes, then we need a more powerful method of finding the distance. One such method is to approximate the distance traveled by breaking up the time into many short intervals of time, then multiplying the time elapsed in each interval by one of the speeds in that interval, and then taking the sum (a Riemann sum) of the approximate distance traveled in each interval. The basic idea is that if only a short time elapses, then the speed will stay more or less the same. However, a Riemann sum only gives an approximation of the distance traveled. We must take the limit of all such Riemann sums to find the exact distance traveled.
Integration can be thought of as measuring the area under a curve, defined by f(x), between two points (here a and b).If f(x) in the diagram on the left represents speed as it varies over time, the distance traveled (between the times represented by a and b) is the area of the shaded region s.
To approximate that area, an intuitive method would be to divide up the distance between a and b into a number of equal segments, the length of each segment represented by the symbol ?x. For each small segment, we can choose one value of the function f(x). Call that value h. Then the area of the rectangle with base ?x and height h gives the distance (time ?x multiplied by speed h) traveled in that segment. Associated with each segment is the average value of the function above it, f(x)=h. The sum of all such rectangles gives an approximation of the area between the axis and the curve, which is an approximation of the total distance traveled. A smaller value for ?x will give more rectangles and in most cases a better approximation, but for an exact answer we need to take a limit as ?x approaches zero.
The symbol of integration is , an elongated S (the S stands for "sum"). The definite integral is written as:
and is read "the integral from a to b of f-of-x with respect to x." The Leibniz notation dx is intended to suggest dividing the area under the curve into an infinite number of rectangles, so that their width ?x becomes the infinitesimally small dx. In a formulation of the calculus based on limits, the notation
is to be understood as an operator that takes a function as an input and gives a number, the area, as an output; dx is not a number, and is not being multiplied by f(x).
The indefinite integral, or antiderivative, is written:
Functions differing by only a constant have the same derivative, and therefore the antiderivative of a given function is actually a family of functions differing only by a constant. Since the derivative of the function y = x≤ + C, where C is any constant, is y' = 2x, the antiderivative of the latter is given by:
An undetermined constant like C in the antiderivative is known as a constant of integration.
Fundamental theoremMain article: Fundamental theorem of calculus
The fundamental theorem of calculus states that differentiation and integration are inverse operations. More precisely, it relates the values of antiderivatives to definite integrals. Because it is usually easier to compute an antiderivative than to apply the definition of a definite integral, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus provides a practical way of computing definite integrals. It can also be interpreted as a precise statement of the fact that differentiation is the inverse of integration.
The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus states: If a function f is continuous on the interval [a, b] and if F is a function whose derivative is f on the interval (a, b), then
Furthermore, for every x in the interval (a, b),
This realization, made by both Newton and Leibniz, who based their results on earlier work by Isaac Barrow, was key to the massive proliferation of analytic results after their work became known. The fundamental theorem provides an algebraic method of computing many definite integralsówithout performing limit processesóby finding formulas for antiderivatives. It is also a prototype solution of a differential equation. Differential equations relate an unknown function to its derivatives, and are ubiquitous in the sciences.
The logarithmic spiral of the Nautilus shell is a classical image used to depict the growth and change related to calculusCalculus is used in every branch of the physical sciences, actuarial science, computer science, statistics, engineering, economics, business, medicine, demography, and in other fields wherever a problem can be mathematically modeled and an optimal solution is desired. It allows one to go from (non-constant) rates of change to the total change or vice versa, and many times in studying a problem we know one and are trying to find the other.
Physics makes particular use of calculus; all concepts in classical mechanics and electromagnetism are interrelated through calculus. The mass of an object of known density, the moment of inertia of objects, as well as the total energy of an object within a conservative field can be found by the use of calculus. An example of the use of calculus in mechanics is Newton's second law of motion: historically stated it expressly uses the term "rate of change" which refers to the derivative saying The rate of change of momentum of a body is equal to the resultant force acting on the body and is in the same direction. Commonly expressed today as Force = Mass ◊ acceleration, it involves differential calculus because acceleration is the time derivative of velocity or second time derivative of trajectory or spatial position. Starting from knowing how an object is accelerating, we use calculus to derive its path.
Maxwell's theory of electromagnetism and Einstein's theory of general relativity are also expressed in the language of differential calculus. Chemistry also uses calculus in determining reaction rates and radioactive decay. In biology, population dynamics starts with reproduction and death rates to model population changes.
Calculus can be used in conjunction with other mathematical disciplines. For example, it can be used with linear algebra to find the "best fit" linear approximation for a set of points in a domain. Or it can be used in probability theory to determine the probability of a continuous random variable from an assumed density function. In analytic geometry, the study of graphs of functions, calculus is used to find high points and low points (maxima and minima), slope, concavity and inflection points.
Green's Theorem, which gives the relationship between a line integral around a simple closed curve C and a double integral over the plane region D bounded by C, is applied in an instrument known as a planimeter which is used to calculate the area of a flat surface on a drawing. For example, it can be used to calculate the amount of area taken up by an irregularly shaped flower bed or swimming pool when designing the layout of a piece of property.
In the realm of medicine, calculus can be used to find the optimal branching angle of a blood vessel so as to maximize flow. From the decay laws for a particular drug's elimination from the body, it's used to derive dosing laws. In nuclear medicine, it's used to build models of radiation transport in targeted tumor therapies.
In economics, calculus allows for the determination of maximal profit by providing a way to easily calculate both marginal cost and marginal revenue.
Calculus is also used to find approximate solutions to equations; in practice it's the standard way to solve differential equations and do root finding in most applications. Examples are methods such as Newton's method, fixed point iteration, and linear approximation. For instance, spacecraft use a variation of the Euler method to approximate curved courses within zero gravity environments.
Things to Remember
It is said that Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz invented Calculus.