# Calculus Essay

1837 Words 8 Pages
Calculus is the mathematical study of change, in the same way that geometry is the study of shape and algebra is the study of operations and their application to solving equations. It has two major branches, differential calculus, and integral calculus ; these two branches are related to each other by the fundamental theorem of calculus. Both branches make use of the fundamental notions of convergence of infinite sequences and infinite series to a well-defined limit. Generally, modern calculus is considered to have been developed in the 17th century by Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz. Today, calculus has widespread uses in science, engineering and economics.
Calculus is a part of modern mathematics education. A course in calculus is a
The reach of calculus has also been greatly extended. Henri Lebesgue invented measure theory and used it to define integrals of all but the most pathological functions. Laurent Schwartz introduced distributions, which can be used to take the derivative of any function whatsoever.
Limits are not the only rigorous approach to the foundation of calculus. Another way is to use Abraham Robinson 's non-standard analysis. Robinson 's approach, developed in the 1960s, uses technical machinery from mathematical logic to augment the real number system with infinitesimal and infinite numbers, as in the original Newton-Leibniz conception. The resulting numbers are called hyperreal numbers, and they can be used to give a Leibniz-like development of the usual rules of calculus.
The development of calculus was built on earlier concepts of instantaneous motion and area underneath curves.
Applications of differential calculus include computations involving velocity and acceleration, the slope of a curve, and optimization. Applications of integral calculus include computations involving area, volume, arc length, center of mass, work, and pressure. More advanced applications include power series and Fourier series.
Calculus is also used to gain a more precise understanding of the nature of space, time, and motion. For centuries, mathematicians and philosophers wrestled with paradoxes involving division by zero or sums of infinitely many numbers. These questions arise in the study of motion and area. The ancient Greek philosopher Zeno of Elea gave several famous examples of such paradoxes. Calculus provides tools, especially the limit and the infinite series, which resolve the paradoxes.

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