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Can someone please explain calculus to me

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posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 06:44 PM
Will somone please explain calculus to me in the simplest terms possible. While I was at high school the teachers never explained it to me and since I want to get into an average university I will have to take a calculus course. Only problem is I am not the smartest at math

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 06:46 PM
This guy on Youtube explains a lot of math. Check his profile.

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 07:13 PM
oh yeah i got thirty seconds to explain one of the more complex mathmatical systems, haha yeah right.

Your best bet is to start at Wiki, read about it and follow some links. When you have grasped a basic understanding of the concept, or at least know what you don't understand, then move over to google or google videos and try searching there for a more detailed explanation.

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 07:27 PM
I find wiki math impossible to understand.

Try this:

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 07:27 PM
reply to post by Maddogkull

You might want to check and see if some one can do some private tutoring for you. Often someone who has trouble in math miss out on some of the basics so a refresher with emphasis on what you had trouble with might be a good idea.

A quick and dirty on calculus. Picture a big curved line like a C. You can approximate any part of the curve as a short straight line between two points on the C. The shorter the straight line the better the approximation. As the points you pick get closer and closer together the approximation gets better and better until the two points are almost on top of each other. That is what delta X is all about.

posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 07:28 PM
Calculus is basically just very advanced algebra and geometry/trig. In a sense, it isn't even considered "new" math. Calc uses the ordinary rules of algebra and trig, and tweaks them so they can be used on more complicated math problems.

To show the difference between a regular math problem, and a calculus math problem (in a very simple context) is too think of a guy pushing a box up a straight incline (ramp).

We want to figure out how much energy it would take for the guy to push the box up the ramp. Because the surface of the ramp is straight (basically a triangle with strait edges) it is very simple to use regular math to figure this problem out. The man pushing the box is pushing with an unchanging force, and the crate is traveling at an unchanged speed. With some basic physics forumulas and some algebra and trig, we can figure out how many calories of energy this will require.

Now, lets suppose that the ramp is not strait, but that it gets steeper towards the middle, and then flattens back out at the top. Because the steepness of the incline is changing, the energy needed at various points are also changing. This requires calculus to solve.

The way to solve this problem is to cut the inclines angle into several small pieces, and then add the calculations of each of these pieces together, to get the final result. The small pieces you can visualize as zooming into the angle so close that is "seems" straight. Once you get to that level, you can then use the "straight line" method to solve for that piece. Do that for every piece, add those together, and you get a very close estimate of what this curve is doing.

That... is calculus.


posted on Aug, 17 2009 @ 09:52 PM
In its simplest form, calculus is used to find the area beneath a curve on a graph. It is what the graph represents that makes it complex.


[edit on 17-8-2009 by MysterE]

posted on Aug, 18 2009 @ 12:18 AM
Think about when you flush the toilet.

Water flows out of the tank at a certain "rate", where it be something like 1litre per 5 seconds or something as an example.

But you notice that near the end of the flush, as there is less water in the toilet tank, the water rushes out slower, at a slower "rate" because there is less water in the tank therefore less pressure pushing it down and out.

So the "rate" is fast at the start of the flush, and slower at the end of the flush. Essentially, the "flush rate" has it's own "rate of change".

The mathematics of calculus help calculate and put numerical values to that "rate of change".

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