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# Differential calculus

Community Questions
Taking derivatives
Calculating derivatives. Power rule. Product and quotient rules. Chain Rule. Implicit differentiation. Derivatives of common functions.
All content in “Taking derivatives”

### Introduction to differential calculus

The topic that is now known as "calculus" was really called "the calculus of differentials" when first devised by Newton (and Leibniz) roughly four hundred years ago. To Newton, differentials were infinitely small "changes" in numbers that previous mathematics didn't know what to do with. Think this has no relevence to you? Well how would you figure out how fast something is going *right* at this moment (you'd have to figure out the very, very small change in distance over an infinitely small change in time)? This tutorial gives a gentle introduction to the world of Newton and Leibniz.

### Using secant line slopes to approximate tangent slope

The idea of slope is fairly straightforward-- (change in vertical) over (change in horizontal). But how do we measure this if the (change in horizontal) is zero (which would be the case when finding the slope of the tangent line. In this tutorial, we'll approximate this by finding the slopes of secant lines.

### Introduction to derivatives

Discover what magic we can derive when we take a derivative, which is the slope of the tangent line at any point on a curve.

### Visualizing graphs of functions and their derivatives

You understand that a derivative can be viewed as the slope of the tangent line at a point or the instantaneous rate of change of a function with respect to x. This tutorial will deepen your ability to visualize and conceptualize derivatives through videos and exercises. We think you'll find this tutorial incredibly fun and satisfying (seriously).

### Derivative properties and intuition

Let's now get a better understanding of the different derivative-related notations and use them to better understand properties of derivatives.

### Power rule

Calculus is about to seem strangely straight forward. You've spent some time using the definition of a derivative to find the slope at a point. In this tutorial, we'll derive and apply the derivative for any term in a polynomial. By the end of this tutorial, you'll have the power to take the derivative of any polynomial like it's second nature!

### Chain rule

You can take the derivatives of f(x) and g(x), but what about f(g(x)) or g(f(x))? The chain rule gives us this ability. Because most complex and hairy functions can be thought of the composition of several simpler ones (ones that you can find derivatives of), you'll be able to take the derivative of almost any function after this tutorial. Just imagine.

### Product and quotient rules

You can figure out the derivative of f(x). You're also good for g(x). But what about f(x) times g(x)? This is what the product rule is all about. This tutorial is all about the product rule. It also covers the quotient rule (which really is just a special case of the product rule).

### Implicit differentiation

Like people, mathematical relations are not always explicit about their intentions. In this tutorial, we'll be able to take the derivative of one variable with respect to another even when they are implicitly defined (like "x^2 + y^2 = 1").

### Derivatives of inverse functions

In this tutorial we explore a common method to find the derivatives of inverse tangent (arctangent), inverse sine (arcsine), inverse cosine (arccosine) and the natural logarithm function.

### Proofs of derivatives of common functions

We told you about the derivatives of many functions, but you might want proof that what we told you is actually true. That's what this tutorial tries to do!