Mathematics has thousands of branches, and each branch means something different to every person. Some may know it as a useful tool that is a key to getting civilizations rolling. Others may just see it as bothersome and a tough grade in a class. Still, math is an important part to everyone’s life and can be related to even the smallest part of life. Calculus is one of the chief topics in mathematics. The formal study of calculus started from the 17th century by well-known scientists and mathematicians like Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz, although it is possible that it has been at use as early as the Greek era. It is a mathematical discipline that is primarily concerned with functions, limits, derivatives, and integrals just to name a few. This discipline has a unique legacy over the history of mathematics. Even though it is split between the 2 definitions of Newton and Leibniz, it has still been able to create a new mathematical system and was used in a variety of applications.
There are 2 different fields of calculus. The first subfield is called differential calculus. Using what is known as derivatives, it studies the behavior and rate on how different quantities change. Using the process of differentiation, the graph of a function can actually be computed, analyzed, and predicted.
The second subfield is called integral calculus. Integration is actually the reverse process of differentiation, concerned with the concept of the anti-derivative. Either a concept, or at least semblances of it, has existed for centuries already. Even though these 2 subfields are generally different form each other, these 2 concepts are linked by the fundamental theorem of calculus. Though it is complicated to use well, calculus does have a lot of practical uses – uses that you probably won’t comprehend at first. The most common practical use of calculus is when plotting graphs of certain formulae or functions. Using methods such as the first derivative and the second derivative, a graph and its dimensions can be accurately estimated. These 2 derivatives are used to predict how a graph may look like, the direction that it is taking on a specific point, the shape of the graph at a specific point (if concave or convex), just to name a few. Though it may not seem this way, calculus can be used all over in real life. Physics, engineering, economics, statistics, and medicine are all professions that involve calculus. It is used to create mathematical models in order to arrive into an optimal solution. For example, in physics, calculus is used in a lot of its concepts. Physical concepts that use concepts of calculus include motion, electricity, heat, light, harmonics, acoustics, astronomy, and dynamics. Even advanced physics concepts including electromagnetism and Einstein’s theory of relativity use calculus. In chemistry, calculus can be used to predict functions such as reaction rates and radioactive decay. Meanwhile, in biology, it is utilized to formulate rates such as birth and death rates. In economics, calculus is used to compute marginal cost and marginal revenue, enabling economists to predict maximum profit in a specific setting. In addition, it is used to check answers for different mathematical disciplines such as statistics, analytical geometry, and algebra. As you can see, calculus has a huge role in the real world. For most professions, learning it is the key to success.
So this is why you can’t dismiss calculus as just another nuisance. If it is, interest on the matter wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did.