Definition:Calculus

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Definition

Calculus is the branch of mathematics which studies change.


Differential Calculus

Differential calculus is a subfield of calculus which is concerned with the study of the rates at which quantities change.


Integral Calculus

Integral calculus is a subfield of calculus which is concerned with the study of the rates at which quantities accumulate.

Equivalently, given the rate of change of a quantity integral calculus provides techniques of providing the quantity itself.

The equivalence of the two uses are demonstrated in the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus.

The technique is also frequently used for the purpose of calculating areas and volumes of curved geometric figures.


Also see

  • Results about calculus can be found here.


Historical Note

Calculus has been described as:

the most powerful instrument ever invented for the mathematical exploration of the physical universe.
-- 1937: Eric Temple Bell: Men of Mathematics