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Chapter 3 – Calculus

The following Topics and Sub-Topics are covered in this chapter and are available on MSVgo:


In Mathematics, calculus is a branch which deals with understanding the changes in the values with respect to a function. Before studying calculus, the three main sub-domains of mathematics that you should be thorough with are geometry, algebra, and trigonometry. The most important factor in calculus is formulas. You need to understand, by heart, and revise formulas to cover this topic smoothly. 

Using calculus well is pretty complicated, but it has a lot of practical uses. You must have plotted graphs for various functions and formulas, and this is the most popular practical use of calculus. The topics covered under calculus are limits and continuity, differentiation and integration. Let us now understand the calculus and its types in detail. 

Calculus is further divided into two types:

  1. Differential Calculus
  2. Integral Calculus

Differential Calculus is concerned with the rate of change of one quantity with respect to another quantity. A simple example would be acceleration. Acceleration is the rate of change of velocity with respect to the rate of change of time. 

For a function f(x), its differential equation would be:

f’(x) = dy/dx ……… (given that x≠0)

In the equation given above, 

LHS: f’(x) is the derivative of the function f(x)

RHS: y is a dependent variable and x is an independent variable

Limit is an important topic from calculus as it is further used to define concepts like continuity, integration, and differentiation. 

Consider the following function: f(x) = x2. Try putting various values in x and you will observe that, as the value of x gets closer to zero, the value of f(x) will simultaneously move towards 0. And hence, we say:

 x0f(x) = 0

We should read the above equation as: limit of f(x) as x tends to zero is equal to zero. 

Here, the left-hand side, that is, the limit of the function as x tends to 0, is considered as the value of the function should assume at x = 0. 

Example: If x2xn-2nx-2=80 and n is a positive integer, find n.

Solution: x2xn-2nx-2=80

∴n(2)n-1 = 80

∴ n(2)n-1 = 5(2)4

∴ n(2)n-1 = 5(2)5-1

∴n = 5

Let us now study and understand the difference between continuity and discontinuity.

When the left-hand limit of a function of f(x) as xmー and right-hand limit of a function f(x) as xm+ are equal, then the limit of f(x) at x=m exists. And if these limits are equal to f(m), then the function f(x) is said to be a continuous function at x=a.  

Discontinuity occurs for the functions which are defined only in a specific domain. An example of discontinuity would be f(x) = tanx. The tan function is defined in specific points and is discontinuous at these points. We can define discontinuity as follows:

If a function f(x) is not continuous at x = a, it is said to be discontinuous at x = a. And for the function f(x), ‘a’ is called the point of discontinuity.

Derivative is the fundamental concept of differential calculus. It gives the rate of change of functions. It provides the amount or rate at which the function changes at a given point. Derivative is nothing but a slope. It is used in measuring the steepness of the graph of the given function. Derivative of a function is the ratio of change of the value of a function with respect to the change in an independent variable. 

Example: If y = x-12×2-7x+5, then find dydx at x=2. 

Solution: y = x-12×2-7x+5= x-1(x-1)(2x-5)= 12x-5

dydx= (2x-5)d(1)d(x) -(1)d(2x-5)dx(2x-5)2= (2x-5)(0) -(1)(2)(2x-5)2= -2(2x-5)2

For dydx= -2(2x-5)2at x=2,

dydx= -2(4-5)2 = -21= -2

∴dydx= -2

Integral calculus is nothing but the process of finding the area under a curve. In integral calculus, to find the area under the curve exactly, we divide it into infinite rectangles that have infinitesimal width and sum them up. In integral calculus, we will study the integrals and their different properties.

Integration is nothing but uniting or bringing the coordinates of a function to sum them up. It is the reverse process of differentiation. In integration, we add discrete and small data, which cannot be added particularly, and then represent it in a single value. A very simple daily life example would be a loaf of bread. When the loaf is cut into multiple slices, we differentiate them. When these slices are put together, we integrate them. 

Example: Find (tanx-cotx)2dx


(tanx-cotx)2dx = (tan2x-2tanxcotx+cot2x)dx

= (sec2x+cosec2x-4)dx

= sec2x.dx + cosec2x.dx -41.dx

= tanx-cotx-4x+c

∴(tanx-cotx)2dx = tanx-cotx-4x+c

  1. What is differential calculus?

A: The calculation of the rate of one quantity with respect to another quantity is called differential calculus.

  1. What is a derivative?

A: Derivative (dydx) is nothing but the slope. It gives the measure of the steepness of the graph of a function. 

  1. What are the real-life applications of differential calculus? 

A: For calculating the rate of change of temperature, for calculation of distance or speed covered. 

  1. What is a differential equation? 

A: Functions and their derivatives that are related to each other in the form of an equation is a differential equation. 

  1. What is integration?

A: Integration is nothing but uniting or bringing the coordinates of a function to sum them up. It is the reverse process of differentiation.

The branch of mathematics which deals with the study of change in the value of the function as the points in the domain change is called calculus. The concepts covered under calculus, which is limits, continuity, derivatives, and integration, are important not only in terms of your syllabus but also for practical use, particularly in crucial domains like physics, medicine, statistics, computer science, engineering, etc. To learn Calculus in detail, you can refer to the video library by downloading the MSVgo app from the Google Play Store, iOS App Store, or browse the MSVgo website.

High School Physics

  • Alternating Current
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High School Chemistry

  • Acids, Bases and Salts
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High School Biology

  • Absorption and Movement of Water in Plants
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High School Math

  • Algebra – Arithmatic Progressions
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  • Calculus – Applications of Derivatives
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Middle School Science

  • Acids, Bases And Salts
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  • Basic Biology
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  • Water: A Precious Resource
  • Weather, Climate And Adaptations Of Animals To Climate
  • Winds, Storms And Cyclones

Middle School Math

  • Addition
  • Area and Its Boundary
  • Boxes and Sketches
  • Data Handling
  • Fun With Numbers
  • Heavy and Light
  • How Many
  • Long And Short
  • Mapping
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  • Similarity
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  • Squares
  • Subtraction
  • Tables And Shares
  • Tenths and Hundredths
  • Time
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